Letter: Blame the politicians for letting Leeds lag behind

Your correspondent Elizabeth Leigh is right to state that Metro’s reluctance to promote and cost a Metro system based on Leeds is inexcusable.

However don’t blame Mr Preston, blame his unambitious and parochial political masters who clearly haven’t got a clue as to what transport is required to promote a city into the European big league. Hence Hannover – the hometown of our Royal Family – has a municipal tram system which shares central area tunnels with a regional train network. Three cross city rail tunnels totalling 19 kilometres in length enable passengers to reach a variety of major traffic objectives.

Stuttgart in SW Germany has an even more developed network with 24 central area underground stations and over 20 kilometres of tunnel. So no trudging across Hannover or Stuttgart from the central station in the rain or snow to the university or the shops.

What really exasperates me in all of this is that the best is always for someone else, there’s always some reason why in Leeds we have to settle for second best, or more likely, as with the trolleybus, third best.

Southend-on-Sea, Southampton and Teesside all have rail stations at their airports and Newcastle’s airport is served by the local Metro system which in addition to its original capital cost has recently had several hundred million pounds spent on refurbishment. In contrast to all these cities we have nothing and no sign of anything to compare. Why?

As I keep saying we can’t even go to our own local out of town shopping centre, the White Rose by train. Who runs all this? Isn’t it about time that the elected councillors and their highly paid advisers started putting our transport interests first? Even with NGT we will still be so far behind our partner cities.

James Bovington, Horsforth, Leeds, Leeds




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