A to Z of Leeds: The doomed solution to the city's traffic woes

We all know Leeds is a great city, right?
An artist's impression of Leeds Supertram on The Headrow.An artist's impression of Leeds Supertram on The Headrow.
An artist's impression of Leeds Supertram on The Headrow.

There are many reasons for this bold claim, from the people who've called this place home, to the history of the region, the developments underway and the talent and creativity we see on a daily basis. Here, we go through the alphabet to give you some reasons to be proud.


The doomed transport solution to Leeds’s traffic woes. It was the first in a series of schemes to be taken up and later dropped, for varying reasons.

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The plan was initially approved by the Government in March 2001 at a cost of £500 million. Work even began on the route - the guided bus lanes in the middle of part of York Road going out toward Cross Gates.

Three lines were planned to begin with, connecting to Whinmoor, Lawnswood and Tingley, with some 49 stations planned along the 28km of track. Some 40 electric trains were planned, each capable of carrying 270 people.

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How the Leeds Supertram dream hit the buffers

However, the scheme was dramatically dropped by the Labour Government in 2005, despite millions having already been spent. The official reason was the fear of spiraling costs.

From 2010 onwards, the city council and Metro pursued the NGT Trolleybus scheme. Dubbed ‘Supertram-lite’, the £250m scheme was seen by some as a viable alternative.

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However, despite years of planning, it too was cancelled following a public inquiry which found there were serious flaws in the planning stage. A well organised opposition group also helped swing the argument.


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Laura Collins