YEP Says, January 23: Viaduct plan shows the vision that Leeds is crying out for

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Ambition and imagination is key to making Leeds stand out from the crowd.

IF Leeds is to be a truly great city then it has to dare to be different.

It’s one thing to follow the lead of other cities by building music arenas or eye-catching shopping centres, but quite another to come up with ideas that are a little bit left of centre.

So it’s disappointing that Network Rail’s initial response to suggestions to turn a redundant viaduct into an urban park and walkway is a somewhat negative one.

The proposal, put forward by charity worker Ed Carlisle and residents in Holbeck, shows just the sort of imagination and ambition the city is crying out for.

The £10,000 community-led project would totally transform the Holbeck Viaduct, which runs from Gelderd Road to Globe Road, turning it into a unique gateway into the centre of Leeds.

Staircases would be installed to make it accessible from Domestic Street and Holbeck Urban Village, while volunteers would clear it and put in raised flower beds, lighting and art installations.

Something similar has been done in New York and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t work here, giving people easier access to the city on foot or bike.

Leeds has the potential to set itself apart from the competition. But for that to happen every organisation has to play its part by embracing the ideas of those who have the vision that’s required to pull it off.

Light at the end of the tunnel for cricket fans

EVENTS in Australia may mean cricket is something of a taboo subject at the moment – but today we feature two stories that should offer fans some cheer.

First there’s the success story of Kippax Willows, the family firm in Leeds whose cricket bat business is going from strength to strength, supplying a trio of Yorkshire players.

Then there are the new details of plans to install floodlights at Headingley – a vital move if it is to safeguard its future as an international stadium.

Let’s hope Yorkshire’s batsmen are soon lighting up Headingley too – whether it’s for their county or England – with bats made right here in Leeds.