Letter: Go underground for transport

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Underground railway systems are the most efficient means of urban mass transit. They also cause the least amount of damage to the environment.

Few major European cities are without an underground system. Leeds claims to be a major European city and yet has no underground system.

Instead of providing us with one, local politicians have wasted their time and our money pursuing funding from central government for a tram system. When central government turned them down, they set their sights even lower, and opted for a trolleybus system, euphemistically called New Generation Transport.

Leeds is being left behind whilst European cities forge ahead building new underground systems and adding lines to existing ones. Cities such as Prague, Budapest and Warsaw are building underground systems with assistance from the European Union, whilst cities which don’t qualify for European grants use cheap loans. Sofia’s second underground line opened at the end of August with 50 per cent of the cost being met by the European Union. Meanwhile, the best Leeds City Council can do is to try to keep up with transport developments in Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle.

An underground railway system would attract business and visitors to the city. It would boost economic growth and enhance the quality of life of everyone who lives here. Local politicians should refuse to accept anything less.

Hannah Johnson, Stanmore Crescent, Leeds