YEP Says: Leeds City Council must be in the driving seat over transport

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THE three C’s of congestion, carbon emissions and capacity are a neat summing up of the transport issues Leeds residents and commuters have to contend with every day.

Today the Yorkshire Evening Post is calling for urgent action to address these issues.

We cannot stand by, wringing our hands over the lousy journeys, the pollution, the lack of service or seats. As a newspaper we are currently carrying out a survey of our readers to ask us what they think about life in Leeds. Naturally transport is one subject we are seeking opinions on, and so far people have overwhelmingly said there should be fewer cars in the city centre.

Consultation is currently going on over plans for a £23m park-and-ride site at Stourton which would provide 1,100 spaces. That’s all well and good but if it then takes half an hour of crawling through traffic to get into the centre of town then what will it acheive. We reported this week on plans for Leeds staion and for upgrading the track. Both of these schemes are absolutely welcomed and we’d love to see faster links to the capital and even more so quicker transpennine trains. But above all we need more trains, more carriages, more buses and much greater reliability of public transport.

The council can’t do this alone but it has to be the organisation which puts the pressure on those who can deliver – Leeds City Council and the Combined Authority are the ones that can do this. Successive governments have let Leeds down over Supertram and Trolleybus schemes, and, as we’ve reported so often, millions have been wasted.

We don’t want a city choked with fumes but the truth is that unless we make public transport a viable, pleasant alternative then the car will remain king in Leeds. They managed it in London. It CAN be done.