Video: Leeds Civic hall protest over trolleybus scheme

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CAMPAIGNERS opposed to Leeds’s trolleybus plans got their voices heard as councillors gathered to receive an update on the progress of the scheme.

Around 35 protestors carrying anti-trolleybus banners and placards took up position outside Leeds Civic Hall from 8am today.

PIC: Simon Hulme

PIC: Simon Hulme

They were there to make their feelings known ahead of a Leeds City Council plans panel meeting which was due to get under way at 9.30am.

The meeting had been called to provide panel members with information on planning issues related to the £250m New Generation Transport (NGT) trolleybus scheme.

Campaigners at this morning’s protest included Bill McKinnon, chairman of the Friends of Woodhouse Moor group.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, he told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The response we got from the public today was great, people were taking our leaflets and there were plenty of thumbs-up signs and horns being beeped.”

A report compiled for today’s meeting gives details of around 20 buildings that are due to be fully or partially demolished to make way for the trolleybus network.

They include a parade of eight shops at Hyde Park Corner and a former church in Headingley.

Opponents have claimed the scheme will offer poor value for money and damage the environment while Leeds East MP George Mudie has condemned it as “unglamorous”.

NGT bosses at the council and West Yorkshire passenger transport authority Metro say the network will reduce journey times and boost the economic output of Leeds by more than £175m per year.

Powered by overhead wires, the system will run from Holt Park in the north of the city to Stourton in the south. Construction is due to start in 2017 or 2018.

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