Life with trolleybus will be no picnic, say Leeds campaigners

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Residents in Leeds will join together this weekend to show their continued opposition to the city’s trolleybus plans.

Community picnic protests are being staged in two locations whose appearance campaigners say will be ruined if the £250m New Generation Transport (NGT) scheme gets the green light.

The first picnic will take place on Saturday at Belle Isle Circus while the second will be held on Sunday on the Monument Moor area of Woodhouse Moor.

They will both run from midday to 2pm and are open to all.

The events have been organised by the A660 Joint Council, one of the main groups calling for Leeds to drop its NGT proposals.

Vice chair Bill McKinnon said: “The trolleybuses would run directly through both of the sites where the picnics are being held.

“Both Belle Isle Circus and Monument Moor have special places in the heart of their communities.

“We are wanting to highlight the effect NGT would have on them – there will be no more picnics or similar community events in either location if it is approved, that’s for sure.”

Government ministers are expected to decide the transport scheme’s fate at the end of this year or the start of next.

Their verdict will be informed by the findings of a public inquiry into NGT that was held in Leeds last year.

Supporters of the public sector-funded project say it would be worth £175m each year to the local economy.

Powered electrically via overhead wires, trolleybuses would run between Holt Park in the north of the city and Stourton in the south.

Opponents say that, as well as damaging the environment in places like Belle Isle Circus and Woodhouse Moor, NGT would offer poor value for money.