Leeds needs transport investment not more red tape with railway companies - YEP Comment

Leeds City Station. Picture: Gary Longbottom.Leeds City Station. Picture: Gary Longbottom.
Leeds City Station. Picture: Gary Longbottom.
The Government has now revealed that Great British Railways (GBR) will own and manage rail infrastructure, issue contracts to private firms to run trains, set most fares and timetables and sell tickets from 2023.

According to a Leeds academic, passengers should find the new system easier to use.

However, Greg Marsden, a professor of transport governance at the University of Leeds' Institute of Transport Studies, warned that the changes would not tackle the underlying lack of investment in our region's railways.

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"Some of the journey times are crazily slow in the north, some of the rolling stock is pretty terrible in the north, and we need it all electrified - those things don't go away," he said.

The YEP has campaigned fiercely over the last 18 months for improved transport infrastructure in Leeds, as part of our Unlock the Gridlock campaign.

If the criticism is true, then the latest move by the Government could be just another sticking plaster and layer of red tape around an already creaking system.

Leeds needs a transport network fit for purpose, from our roads and cycle paths, right the way through to railways.

It remains to be seen what impact the GBR plans will have but one thing is clear: our city still needs investment in transport.