Letter: Capital advice on trolleybuses

Have your say

I’d just like to comment on the debacle of the banking people.

Transport for London is the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in London. Its role is to formulate transport strategy and to manage transport services, just like the role of Metro in Leeds.

Here are Transport for London’s reasons for not using trolleybuses on the streets of London, reasons which apply equally well to Leeds:

“Trolleybuses are no longer generally considered to be a viable solution for London’s transport needs. Whilst they may offer some marginal energy efficiencies compared with ‘conventional buses’ these are likely to be more than offset in pure cost terms by the cost of supplying and maintaining the electrical power supply infrastructure.

“Ongoing developments in bus technology, such as the hydrogen fuel cell buses and hybrid diesel-electric buses which have been on trial in London can deliver many of the environmental benefits of the trolleybus without the need for the fixed infrastructure. The combination of these factors makes the consideration of trolleybuses low on Transport for London’s current plans for investment in the network.”

Transport for London has successfully delivered an efficient and integrated transport system in the capital, something Metro has singularly failed to do in Leeds. Metro would do well therefore to take on board the drawbacks of trolleybuses and consider alternatives in the same way that Transport for London has done, before spending any more public money on the trolleybus system it wants to build in Leeds.

Kim Cowell, by email