Today’s Transport Top Trumps were the YEP’s attempt to inject a little levity into our reporting of tranport woes in this city.
Journalists are generally a competitive bunch of people and we didn’t have a shortage of volutneers willing to pit their skills against each other in a Whacky Races contest to get into work the fastest. But there was nothing to laugh about in the final analysis.
A 5.5 mile commute to work should be a dream distance shouldn’t it? You’d expect to get out of bed at a reasonable hour and have time for a shower and breakfast before heading out of the door... well only if you cycle or take your own car it seems. Cycling was the fastest (but you have to factor in a shower and change at work and your workplace would have to have such facilities available to you).
So it looks like car is the quickest - despite parking being prohibitively expensive (and there not being enough parking spaces) - it is still going to be one of the most reliable and quickest ways to travel in Leeds.
That’s because Leeds is a motorway city and has no mass transport system. Simple.
Despite this Leeds CC is doing all that it can to discourge people from bringing their cars into the city, But unless it can find a billion pounds kicking around it has no chance of building a mass transport system - and even if it could, it would be up to a decade before it was fully functioning. This series of private companies running a hotch-potch of different public (private) transport systems is not a mass transport system.
Even without the billion investment it would take to build a tram or trolleybus scheme passengers could do with a one-ticket system to go across different kinds of transport, they could do with much better co-ordination between buses and trains but above all they need it to be reliable.
Two of our staff arrived to work later than their start time, despite having set off in plenty of time to make their journey. It wasn’t their fault they were late but yet there are plenty of employees in Leeds on their final warnings (or worse) at their jobs because they are frequently late due to unreliable transport. A 5.5 mile journey just should not take over an hour to make on any form of transport.
It’s not good enough, not for a city the size of Leeds with one of the biggest economies of any city in the UK, and it’s not good enough for the passengers who are paying for this service and who deserve better.
We cannot fulfill our ambitions as a city for growth if we do not sort this out.