See below the text of a letter I recently sent to the YEP in respect of the proposal to introduce the Trolleybus.
I was interested to see your recent coverage of the ongoing proposals to bring a trolley bus or NGT to Leeds (Campaigners in joint bid to battle trolley bus plans – YEP 08/05/13). The proposals were debated in the Council Chamber this week and there is growing opposition to the plans from affected residents and those that are concerned that the scheme could become a ‘white elephant’ for the city.
Let me be clear that I fully support investment in a new mass transit system for the city, dealing with congestion and improving connectivity and journey times are clear priorities for the city. NGT, sadly, does not offer any of these benefits. As it stands NGT will cost in the region of £250m of public money and as far as I can see the improvement it will deliver are limited; journey times will not improve significantly, congestion will remain largely the same and existing public transport could be disrupted leading to the creation of more problems for commuters who rely on public transport in Leeds. To illustrate this, journey times into the city on NGT might only be improved by 1 minute and 8 seconds on current journey times on buses – is it really worth all the disruption and huge investment of public money for such a small benefit?
During the 8 May full Council meeting my ward colleagues and I attempted to highlight many of these concerns warning the ruling administration that they could be about to preside over a huge waste of public money that could end up disadvantaging residents in North West Leeds as opposed to helping them. Despite this honest attempt to ask for more consideration of what could be done with this £250m resource, we were met with petty insults and a complete disregard for the points we were making. There are still a lot of questions to be answered and the ruling administration does not seem to want to answer them.