An inquiry into Leeds’s abandoned trolleybus and Supertram mass transport schemes will this week examine the five key “lessons learned” which will help minimise the risk of a future project also falling at the final hurdle.
Leeds City Council is conducting an extensive probe into the series of decisions - stretching back across three decades - which saw the two major transport schemes ultimately being scrapped.
The scrutiny panel will meet for its next session on Wednesday, and will be presented with a list of recommendations and guidelines to stop future decision makers repeating past mistakes.
And a report to the panel details several perceived Government level failures which influenced the “promoters” of the New Generation Transport trolleybus - Leeds City Council and Metro - and convinced them to back it to the end.
The report says: “The Business Case review process undertaken by [the Department for Transport] failed to highlight the weaknesses in the scheme identified by the Independent Inspector.
“Officers of LCC and WYCA should enter into detailed dialogue with the DfT on any system failures in the approval process that gave rise to this situation to identify how the approval process can be improved in the future.”
The inquiry will be told that whatever rapid transport system the city goes for in the future, “care should be taken to not make choices on line of route and form of technology until a full assessment has been taken”.
Members will also hear that “full consideration should be given to the potential impact on other transport operators and the potential conflict this may give rise to in the delivery of the scheme”.
The separate trolleybus and Supertram projects were developed over nearly 30 years in total, and each spent 10 years in development limbo before finally being scrapped by the Government. NGT was abandoned last summer. Leeds City Council is now working towards developing a new mass transport scheme, which will be part funded by the £173m Government funding originally earmarked for the trolleybus.