Leeds trolleybus needs consultation says senior councillor

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a SENIOR councillor has warned the city’s £250m trolleybus scheme will not progress without “meaningful consultation”.

Leeds’s conservative group leader councillor Andrew Carter has said his party will not back a resolution progressing the scheme later in the year unless more residents are consulted.

The Calverley and Farsley ward councillor also wanted an investigation into whether it was viable to run the trolleybus along the A660.

At a meeting of the executive board last week coun Carter pointed out that the Headingley demographic had changed over the years due to students choosing to live in the city centre over the popular north Leeds village.

He demanded to know if anyone had “robustly” checked if footfall along the A660 remained the same.

Coun Richard Lewis, executive member for development and the economy, said: “[The trolleybus scheme] has been a solution of traffic problems in Headingley Lane for three or four decades.

“It offers an opportunity for people to make a mobile shift so people can get out of their cars and use public transport.

“Most traffic goes down rat runs into the city centre causing huge disturbances for residents, but Headingley Lane remains a huge problem.”

He added that property prices along the route are going up, which has been a welcome benefit of the New Generation Transport (NGT) network.

The executive board gave the go ahead for £19.2m from the capital programme to be spent on development costs that will take the scheme to construction stage. The NGT will link park and ride sites at Holt Park in the north to Belle Isle at the south edge of Leeds with the city centre. Leeds is the first UK city to get a modern trolleybus which may be in place by 2018.