I have made suggestions regarding the provision of a rail service to Leeds Bradford Airport which has prompted correspondence on public transport in the area.
When public transport first became available it was for no other reason than to supply a demand.
This demand was met by entrepreneurs using whatever vehicle they could to convey their fare-paying passengers.
The railways then took over for a time and people would, nay had, to walk a mile or more to catch the train.
Local councils then evolved and took control of road transport as in Leeds with Leeds City Transport (LCT).
The city fathers decided on a tramway network supplemented by buses which in its heyday carried millions of passengers.
LCT contributed to the city coffers until the sixties when it began to be an expenditure rather than an asset.
Yes, maybe deregulation was a mistake, but when it occurred the majority of local authorities were running services at a loss.
Even so, services were still provided on many loss-making services through support from the profitable routes.
Nowadays with private enterprise those loss-making services are discontinued because profit comes before service.
The demand for public transport is still there and in some cases outstrips supply, eg Horsforth rail station.
Schemes and ideas to improve services raise hopes but prove untenable for different reasons.
The problem is how to make public transport the preferred mode of travel. Will the NGT do this?
The majority do not think so, only those with rose-coloured spectacles see any benefit.
We will never find a solution with universal approval because factored into the equation we have a constant variable which has a different value to each individual.
I refer to “Shank’s Pony” and the question as to how far people are prepared to walk to avail themselves of the service provided. At what distance do they say “too far”?
This is just one answer that the planners and providers cannot find an answer for.
They have to make the services provided affordable, attractive, accessible and reliable.
This can only be achieved by considerable capital investment in the whole transport network of West Yorkshire.
The whole network needs appraisal as a working entity not just one route, vis a vis NGT.
How the powers-that-be accomplish the solution(if they can) is a question for the electorate, government, both central and local, the PTE and the service providers.
The main criteria would be the amount of investment needed to provide the necessary alternatives to what is currently on offer.
Whatever schemes are put forward there will always be detractors for some reason or another but whoever has the courage to use the technology of today to provide a tram/train system that runs underground and overground has to be on a winner.
D Angood, Britannia Close, Pudsey