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Leeds trolleybus plan given new vote of confidence

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Transport bosses have reaffirmed their commitment to Leeds’s trolleybus plans ahead of the preliminary stage of the public inquiry that will decide the scheme’s fate.

West Yorkshire passenger transport authority Metro’s executive board met on Friday for an update on the £250m project.

Board members supported a recommendation that they give their continued backing to the New Generation Transport (NGT) scheme – and also took a swipe at alternative plans put forward by First, Leeds’s biggest bus operator. A meeting is being held tomorrow at Leeds’s Metropole Hotel to determine the programme for the public inquiry into trolleybus, which starts on April 29.

Metro executive board member Coun Andrew Carter, leader of the opposition Tory group on Leeds City Council, said support for the recommendation on Friday had been unanimous.

However Coun Carter also called on Metro and the council to do more to address the concerns raised by residents opposed to NGT.

“The people who have objected must be satisfied that they have been listened to and the problems resolved,” he said. Coun Carter also branded as “laughable” claims from First that a fleet of state-of-the-art double deckers would deliver the same benefits as trolleybus at a fraction of the cost.

Coun Carter said: “First should spend more time improving its existing services and less on this kind of blocking tactic.”

Metro and the council need a Transport Works Act (TWA) Order for permission to build the NGT system. The Government will make a decision on the award of the TWA Order based on the findings of the forthcoming public inquiry.

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