ACCORDING to a recent Department of Transport forecast, the NGT trolleybus scheme will cause delays to general traffic, leading to £100m-plus of disadvantages to highway users, with the biggest impact on business travellers. The department estimates that the total cost to Leeds businesses will be £221m.
These are direct costs and primarily consist of higher vehicle operating costs and the loss in productivity of employees who will be delayed during work time.
The Department predicts that NGT will result in a slight improvement in journey times during the morning rush hour and a significant worsening of journey times during the evening rush hour. The northern route through Headingley will be the worst affected as road users will be held up at the junctions that will be necessary so the trolleybus can run behind the Arndale Centre and through the Shire Oak Road conservation area.
The department speculates that the reason local businesses seem to support NGT is either that the businesses consulted by Metro are unrepresentative, or that they have not been told by Metro how much NGT will cost them. Whichever it is, none of this inspires confidence either in Metro, or NGT.
SARAH SULLIVAN, Devonshire Gardens, Leeds