YEP Says, January 29: New blueprint for trolleybus is unlikely to win over sceptics

Stop the Trolleybus protestors outside Leeds Civic Hall.

Stop the Trolleybus protestors outside Leeds Civic Hall.

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Doubts will remain over whether route can deliver.

WHATEVER you say about those driving the Leeds trolleybus scheme, you can’t deny they’re pro-active when it comes to stating their case.

The YEP has been given first sight of a 100-page document setting out how the route would, at least in their view, benefit the city. It’s an opening salvo ahead of this spring’s public inquiry that will decide whether trolleybus stays on track.

Certainly there are elements in this latest blueprint which might appease some of those who are cynical about the project and its knock-on effect.

A new park in Headingley is promised, along with increased levels of planting to replace the trees that would have to be chopped down. Such steps are a clear sop to those who have opposed trolleybus on the grounds of its environmental impact.

Yet the remedial measures outlined in this document, however welcome they may be, are unlikely to fully win the battle for hearts and minds.

That’s because the main hurdle facing trolleybus is that at the moment we’re dealing with hypotheticals. With some justification, many question whether the benefits quoted by its backers are realistic.

Would journeys really be nearly twice as quick than taking the bus? Could it really create 4,000 jobs and deliver a £160m annual boost to the local economy?

However persuasive the supporting evidence, only time will tell.

Live at Leeds shows city scene’s thriving

IT’S easy to forget that not so long ago Leeds was something of a barren landscape when it came to seeing live music. Thankfully, all that’s changed.

The health of the city scene is reflected in the fact this year’s YEP-backed Live at Leeds festival looks set to be the best yet.

A great line-up of acts will perform to fans across 20 venues, with Clean Bandit – currently at number one in the singles charts – among them.

The festival is also certain to unearth exciting new talent – the likes of Ed Sheeran and Jake Bugg having appeared in previous years.

(Rock and) roll on May 2.

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