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Businesses show their support for Leeds trolleybus

SPORTING CHANCE:  Gary Hetherington with business leaders backing NGT, from left, Mark Goldstone of York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Craig Burrow of Bruntwood, Kevin Grady of Leeds Civic Trust, Jeff Pearey of Jones Lang LaSalle and Peter Connolly of Yorkshire Design Developments.
SPORTING CHANCE: Gary Hetherington with business leaders backing NGT, from left, Mark Goldstone of York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Craig Burrow of Bruntwood, Kevin Grady of Leeds Civic Trust, Jeff Pearey of Jones Lang LaSalle and Peter Connolly of Yorkshire Design Developments.
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Leading business figures have shown their support for the controversial trolleybus scheme.

The £250 million New Generation Transport (NGT) system will link the city centre with Holt Park in the north and Stourton in the south and is designed to ease traffic congestion on the local road network.

With the Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) submission scheduled for September 19, Hammerson’s, Jones Lang LaSalle, Yorkshire Design Developments, Leeds Rugby Ltd, Allied London, Leeds Civic Trust, Bruntwood and SMG, operators of the First Direct Arena, are supporting the scheme.

The TWAO will grant Metro and Leeds City Council the powers they need to commission, build and operate the 14.8km trolleybus system.

Joe Swindells, Hammerson’s project director for Victoria Gate, said: “We believe the delivery of NGT is critical to the success and development of Leeds.

“The high-end retail brands that we will bring to the city need to see that Leeds has a clear vision for the future, encompassing the short, medium and long-term, as well as the city’s commitment to a high-quality, pedestrian-friendly shopping environment.”

Ben Williams, general manager at the First Direct Arena, said: “The arena is set to become a major attraction for Leeds.

“Modern transport connections are going to be key to its successful operation.”

Gary Hetherington, chief executive of Leeds Carnegie RUFC and Leeds Rugby Ltd, said: “It will offer easier access for crowds wanting to get in and out of the stadium.

He added: “It will also encourage many fans to leave the car at home when travelling to the games.”

If given the go ahead, construction of the trolleybus network could start in 2017.

However, campaigners have been fighting the £250m plans and Leeds East MP George Mudie has condemned it as “unambitious”.

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