YEP letters: December 7

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Have your say

In today’s selection of your letters and comments it’s all about our city’s transport system with a potted history of transport in Leeds and more of your Facebook comments on the station proposals,

Let’s get moving faster this time

Mike O’Halloran, via Facebook

White Rose is a complete no brainer. A station should have been a requirement of building the shopping centre there. The line is right next to it!

The airport needs a proper link too.

But why are we only talking about these things now?

These discussions should have been years ago and construction started already. Ditto with the tram system we’re never going to get!

Chronicle of failure on city transport

rom: Tony Young, Cross Bank, Skipton.

ONCE again we read that motorists will face over £2bn bill for jams by 2025’, which highlights the determination of Leeds City Council to keep their heads firmly in the sand. It is now well known that Leeds is the largest urban area in Europe without a transit system. What is perhaps less well known is how many times it has failed to get one:

1945: Tram tunnels under city centre planned by Leeds City Engineer and Transport Manager, an excellent project but not implemented.

1953: Three single deck prototype trams for subways enter service, but tram tunnel plans already scrapped.

1959: Last Leeds trams, system abandoned, including miles of segregated tracks (later accepted as a huge mistake).

1965: ‘Fastaway’ bus rapid transit introduced. Failed to attract car users and services so withdrawn.

1982: Trolleybus powers for Leeds included in West Yorkshire (Parking and Transport) Act 1982. Authorises WYPTE to construct trolleybus routes on any road in West Yorkshire.

1985: ‘ElectroBus’ trolleybus system planned for Leeds and Bradford by WYPTE. Key objective to reduce air pollution. Stage 1 routes to Roundhay, Moortown, Hunslet, Middleton and Cottingley. Stage 2 to Bradford. Section 56 grant application November 1985, rejected by DoT.

1987: Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire PTE propose tramway along York Road to Seacroft, Cross Gates and Colton (re-instating original abandoned tramways), termed ‘MetroLine’.

1989: Leeds Advanced Transit (LAT) proposed by Leeds City Council on route from Middleton via city centre to St James’s Hospital.

1990: Leeds Dual Transit (LDT) concept proposed by Yorkshire Rider based on guided bus technology. Partly implemented on York Road, Scott Hall Road and Selby Road.

1993: Leeds Supertram Act receives Royal Assent for tram route to Middleton and Tingley.

1994: Leeds Transport Strategy includes light rail lines, busways and highway schemes.

2001: Leeds Supertram (Extension) Order 2001 approved for lines to north and east Leeds. Government funding for Supertram approved.

2004: Secretary of State for Transport Alistair Darling cancels Supertram and tells West Yorkshire to get a bus system.

2007: Metro propose tram-train route linking Harrogate and Castleford lines, possibly with street-running through the city centre.

2007: Metro propose trolleybus system system linking Headingly and Stourton with city centre loop.

2010: Government approve funding for Bodington and Stourton routes but not East Leeds or city centre loop.

2012: Programme Entry approval obtained by Metro and Leeds City Council for trolleybus scheme, TWA Order to be sought in Spring 2013.

2016: After public inquiry, Government cancels trolleybus scheme.

2016: Proposal for tram-train to Leeds Bradford Airport.

While many of these failures are down to central Government, the need is even greater now than 70 years ago. Air pollution is in the headlines almost every day. Congestion in the city is getting worse and bus speeds are dropping.

Leeds has for the first time got the funds to start a transit system. To spend it on more park and ride and other such minor schemes is fiddling while Rome burns.

If the city council cannot bring itself to change course, Leeds residents, businesses, local economy and environment will lose a once-in-a-generation golden opportunity to put Leeds back in the fast lane alongside Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham.

Glasgow City Council is now planning tram-trains to Glasgow Airport. Leeds should follow its example.

Station plans on right track

Yesterday we reported on plans for three new stations for the city including proposals to make a station serving Leeds Bradford Airport. The new transport plan for the city also unveiled upgrades, worth £270m, for the city’s transport network, would also include new stations at Thorpe Park and White Rose Shopping
Centre.

You took to Social Media to our Facebook page to air your views on the plans, and here’s a selection of your comments:

Richard Bapty

Leeds Bradford airport has needed a railway station for years, and it’s so easy to branch a line off from Horsforth station. It’s a no-brainer

Karen Banks

How about fixing the public transport we already have? I use the bus every day to get to and from work. I’m regularly waiting for buses which are timetabled but don’t arrive, are cancelled with no explanation or when they do turn up are full to bursting.

When a service should be at least every 10 minutes based on the timetable why have I waited almost an hour?

Sam Walker

Will there be the extra train carriages for these stations too or will we just be forcing more people on to already overcrowd trains? Take a look at Kirkstall Forge for an example of a good idea badly executed. Few trains stop there and peak time trains are packed at Shipley, so there is insufficient space to get on.

Simon Woods

The airport has been a problem for years, Thorpe Park is growing at such a rate it needs to get people there and it’s on a train line and I guess the White Rose also makes sense.

As somebody else pointed out, this should alleviate some traffic for the masses which should, in turn, cut down congestion on your routes too.

Paul Goodman

Sounds like the station won’t actually be at the airport as per Manchester and Gatwick but will need some sort of transfer, cheap and nasty?

If it were Manchester it would be proper transit system, new stations and airport station. Someone needs to tell Government throwing money at Manchester (the Northwest gets the lion’s share) is not powering ‘The Northern Powerhouse!’

Gee Man

How many people would use the train to the airport? Would you struggle with bags and kids when you could drive to within a mile of the airport? The existing bus links run empty most of the time and the figures given include those that use it in the local area not solely airport passengers. The road system needs improving first.

With all the local development taking place Horsforth, Kirkstall, Guiseley and Rodley are complete bottlenecks and a train station at the airport will not help at peak times.

They’ve linked trams in Manchester so why not here?

Alastair Barrie

Yes it’s the best way forward, the tram idea was never going to work and narrow roads such as Kirkstall are difficult to improve.

Apperley Bridge station with large free car park is fantastic to get into Leeds

Simon Burley

Maybe if they put in Overhead Electrification between Manchester and Hull it may make the train service faster and more reliable. Regional Railways wanted to do that 24 years ago.

As for the transport in Leeds the worst thing they did was to rip up the tram tracks up.

PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

YEP Letters: September 22