THE Bishop of Blackburn has called on the government to increase transport spending in the north of England as part of its drive to cut carbon emissions.

And the Rt Rev. Julian Henderson warned that electric cars were beyond the pocket of many less wealthy people.

Speaking in a House of Lord debate on 'Net-zero Carbon Emissions: Behaviour Change, he said: "I t is essential that our expectations are aspirational, but also realistic.

"They need to apply to all people. It is my fear that the poorest 10 per cent will be left not just behind, but feeling that they are part of the problem when they would rather be part of the solution.

"So far, the behaviour changes we wish to see have been inaccessible to many on low incomes, simply because they cost much more.

"I believe cars that are powered without petrol or diesel are the future but they remain considerably more expensive. A petrol car is cheaper and easier to sell on.

"Public transport in the north remains inadequate, particularly between the big cities and most especially for those on low incomes who need it most.

"It is essential for the change of behaviour we seek, and for the sake of the climate, that funding per head on transport infrastructure is, to use the government’s phrase, 'levelled up'.

"One should not be surprised to find out that spending is higher in London but that spending per head is so considerably higher in the capital than in the north of the country is less easy to comprehend.

"How can people be expected to change their behaviour and choices if the opportunity is not given them to do so? Without proper and fair investment in greener ways to travel, reliance on road travel will only increase."