Campaigners in joint bid to battle Leeds trolleybus plans

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Campaigners from across Leeds are joining forces to urge councillors to reconsider the city’s controversial trolleybus proposals, which they have branded “conceptually flawed” and “not fit for purpose”.

Representatives from four parts of the city which the route would pass through were due to address a meeting of the full council in one voice today.

The groups are West Park Residents Association, Weetwood Residents Association, North Hyde Park Neighbourhood Association, and a delegation representing Belle Isle.

The deputation was also due to speak on behalf of the A660 Joint Council, which draws it membership from 12 organisations representing residents, businesses and interest groups, together with individuals from South and North Leeds.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported recently that Leeds trolleybus bosses were launching a fresh push to win the hearts and minds of the city’s public with a series of consultation events.

The planned £250m trolleybus network - drawn up after Leeds’s Supertram light rail scheme was axed in 2005 - will link the city centre with Holt Park in 
the north and Stourton in the south. Construction is now expected to begin in 2016. However the proposals have drawn criticism from people worried about their possible effect on green areas like Woodhouse Moor.

Doug Kemp, chair of West Park Residents Association, was due tell councillors today that many people have “grave misgivings” about the scheme.

“Fundamentally, the council is being drawn into spending money on a transport scheme which is conceptually flawed,” the joint deputation said. “The trolleybus is the wrong transport medium on the wrong route. The scheme is not fit for purpose and does not match the aspirations of the city of Leeds.”

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