Letter: Desperate for a quality local transport system

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I CONCUR entirely with the anger articulated by Alan Freeman (Your Views, March 4) regarding the scandal of government under-funding for the quality of local public transport system a city and region the size and status of Leeds and West Yorkshire desperately needs and surely merits.

For example, the hopelessly congested Headingley/Holt Park corridor really needs an underground light rail line, notwithstanding the hefty £2 billion price tag, rather than the inadequate (for that route) trolleybus project being pursued.

This should be linked to a tram-train system connecting central Leeds streets via existing and re-opened heavy rail lines to:

Cross Gates – Swarcliffe – Whinmoor/East Leeds expansion (Park & Ride), subsequently extending to Scholes, Thorner, Collingham and Wetherby;

Cross Gates – West Garforth – Kippax – Castleford, subsequently extending to Pontefract and Knottingley, and from these to Featherstone and Wakefield central streets;

Woodlesford – Methley – Castleford - East Castleford/Airedale;

Horsforth (P&R) – Airport (P&R), subsequently extending to Yeadon, Guiseley, Otley and thence to Bradford via Shipley and the Ilkley electric line;

White Rose – Morley central streets – Birstall retail Park.

Later extensions should see Bradford and Dewsbury central streets linked by a re-opened Spen Valley line through Cleckheaton and then onwards through Ossett to Wakefield and the ‘five towns’.

With the revival of the cancelled Supertram lines to St James and Seacroft and to Stourton (P&R) and Middleton/Tingley (P&R) together with above proposals West Yorkshire would have a public transport system to rival Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network, when completed.Doubtless, public transport deniers will howl ‘Where’s the money going to come from?’ Well, government has readily found scores of £billions for London projects and expansions such as Crossrail, Thameslink, HS1 South East, Jubilee Tube, Docklands Light Rail and 600 custom-built ‘Borismaster’ buses as well as for Manchester’s hugely expanded Metrolink, so why not some of the pot for the near 2.5m population of West Yorkshire, the sum of which would be a drop in the ocean compared to the capital.

Alan Freeman is also correct in saying that our local MPs and councillors are just not making their voices heard enough in expressing indignation at Government indifference to the dire state of local public transport in our region.

Clearly, Manchester politicians have been much more vociferous and tenacious in their representations, in that their city is actively developing a world-class transit system.

Dan Laythorpe, Little Woodhouse