YEP Says, February 11: Is bus plan another spanner in the works for trolleybus?

Threat to trolleybus?
Threat to trolleybus?
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Risk that talking will continue while city is left in the slow lane.

AS the letter from reader Martin Phillips on this very page illustrates, there are any number of ideas being put forward in terms of an alternative to the proposed new trolleybus network for Leeds.

One of them comes from transport giant First, which proposes scrapping trolleybus completely and swapping it for a fleet of state-of-the-art buses.

These would be modelled on London’s famous Routemasters and benefit from having priority on the road, combined with an Oyster card-style ticketing system that has worked so well in the capital.

The proposal is to be submitted to the forthcoming public inquiry that will decide the fate of the trolleybus scheme – and it’s sure to trigger fresh debate.

One thing that is absolutely clear is that the city’s current transport network is not up to the job.

Whatever system is put in place, the chances are it won’t manage to please everyone. The fact is that Leeds needs a solution – one that provides the city with a properly joined-up transport network – at the earliest opportunity.

So while it is good that First’s plan adds to the debate as to which model would deliver this most effectively, it is a pity it was not put forward at an earlier juncture.

The risk is that the talking will drag on, while the city continues to muddle along with an outdated transport system that leaves us stuck in the slow lane.

Hospital targets fast becoming a farce

WHEN hospitals keep missing the targets they are set by central government, it’s worth asking the question as to whether it’s worth setting them at all.

Certainly it must be open to question as to whether the current system is worth persisting with, given that it seems to revolve around a neverending cycle of hospitals failing to hit their targets, being fined for doing so and then revealing that they are struggling to stay out of the red.

While it is important that there are a set of standards that every trust should be expected to reach, surely at some point such targets become meaningless when they’re being missed with such regularity.


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