Lessons learned ahead of meeting about Leeds trolleybus inquiry

An image of the proposed trolleybus (NGT) scheme.
An image of the proposed trolleybus (NGT) scheme.

Leeds City Council’s development chief has acknowledged the need to continuously work with communities affected by major transport plans as well as provide resources to deal with objections ahead of a meeting.

.The authority’s Scrutiny Board for Infrastructure and Investment convene at Civic Hall today.

Members are to discuss a report setting out a formal response from the council’s director of city development, Martin Farrington, after the board published the results of an inquiry into the city’s two failed Supertram and trolleybus schemes in September.

The new report reads: “There is a need to ensure that there are sufficient resources to deal with the technical issues raised by objectors, and to ensure appropriate and ongoing engagement at senior levels to make certain that issues are resolved at the earliest stage in the project’s development.”

He adds that those promoting transport schemes “should be mindful that the views of the public may arise at different stages of scheme development, as the public grow to understand the impact that any scheme would have on them and their communities. This highlights the need for continuous engagement and the potential requirement for additional consultation at key stages.”

It comes after the new president of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, Paula Dillon, yesterday said that the city should revisit once again plans for a mass-transit service linking the centre with the South Bank.

Council leader Judith Blake responded by saying that “delivering a rapid mass-transit system remains a key ambition”.

A trolleybus scheme in Leeds was rejected by the Government last year, but in an unprecedented move the £173.5m set aside for it has been made available for other transport plans in the city.