Aisha Iqbal: Let's all have our say on Leeds's '˜son of trolleybus' plans

Transport has been a real bugbear for the people of Leeds for many years, and continues to be so.

Thursday, 23rd November 2017, 2:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:02 pm
trolley-dashed: The NGT New Generation Transport scheme was scrapped last year

A city of our size and ambition needs a first-class public transport network led by a modern mass transit system, and we don’t have either.

It’s a drum that many people have been banging for very long time, but the perception that the needs and view of ordinary people in all this are being ignored has permeated much of the debate outside the corridors of power.

So, it was heartening to see this week that some of the key people driving forward the longed-for overhaul of our public transport network are making a renewed effort to engage grass roots communities. Senior officers from the council’s transport team are doing the rounds of a variety of local forums to gauge opinion. It follows a consultation which had 8,000 responses. People obviously care

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Top of the agenda with current talks is the imminent unveiling of the ‘son of trolleybus’ post-NGT plans as I have decided to dub them. While the Government cash earmarked for the trolleybus is now being used for a variety of smaller proposals, big work is also under way to come up with a bigger, bolder and more realistic mass transit scheme. The council’s cabinet will get a sneak peak at the plans next month, I am told.

After we saw the much-anticipated trolleybus proposals dumped by the Government last year, the way the journey to that failure played out has been a sensitive topic at Leeds Civic Hall.

That tetchiness was evident this week at a meeting I was covering.

I would urge anyone with a view on the city’s public transport to pop along to one of the grass roots forums and have their say.

It’s democracy in action, and it’s the best way to get our city moving - in every sense.