Triple transport funds bid submitted by Leeds

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Civic leaders in Leeds have submitted a fresh bid for funding for the city’s trolleybus scheme.

Metro and Leeds City Council today confirmed their latest application for support for the New Generation Transport (NGT) network has now been lodged with the Government.

Funding bids for two other major schemes were submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) at the same time.

If successful, the first will see new train stations being built at Kirkstall and Apperley Bridge.

The second bid is seeking support for a £25m programme of maintenance work on the Leeds Inner Ring Road.

Coun James Lewis, chairman of Metro, West Yorkshire’s publicly-funded passenger transport authority, today said the plans were “crucial” for the future of Leeds.

He also urged business leaders to do their bit by making the DfT aware of their support for the projects.

Coun Lewis said: “These schemes are crucial for the development of the local economy and our submissions are really the last chance to ensure they go ahead.

“NGT will be transformational for the local economy, new stations will help to maximise the future effectiveness of our rail network and the refurbishment of the Leeds Inner Ring Road needs to happen as soon as possible if it is to stay open.

“If the bids are not successful, this funding will go towards transport schemes in towns and cities in other regions and their local businesses and economies will benefit instead.

“Our region has already suffered from a legacy of underspending on transport by successive governments and by showing their support business leaders can play an active and essential part in beginning the reversal of that trend.”

Leeds’s trolleybus system would link the city centre with Holt Park in the north and Stourton in the south.

An application for funding for the scheme was rejected by the Government last October, with the city being told to explore ways to reduce its cost and scale.

Ministers are expected to make a decision on the fate of all three projects by the end of the year.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported earlier this week how sections of the inner ring road could close unless vital repairs are carried out.

Sections at risk include bridges at Lovell Park Road and Regent Street as well as Woodhouse Tunnel, which runs beneath the University of Leeds and Leeds General Infirmary sites.