Letter: Modern trams are the way forward for Leeds

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Your excellent article in the YEP draws attention to the curious ineptitude of the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority (WYPTA) in continuing to progress this scheme for “New Generation Transport” in this form between Holt Park in north Leeds and Stourton in the south in spite of clear opposition by all interested parties.

I write as an expert on public transport, primarily in Europe but also around the whole world.

Nowhere do I find anyone introducing a trolleybus line. Indeed, everywhere I look any existing trolleybus line (usually only complementary to their present day trams) is or has been closed recently.

Leeds, let me remind you, is the largest city in the entire world to provide its local public transport solely in the form of diesel buses, with all their accompanying pollution.

What is now needed is not trolleybuses but the beginnings of a modern tramway as currently used in Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham and Croydon.

You mention a cost of around £250 million for the Leeds trolleybuses, a figure manifestly absurd. Similar modern trams, mostly along the alignment of the former tramway to Lawnswood, should cost considerably less and need far less destruction of local trees etc.

Trams, once installed, provide the ideal answer to the city’s needs. I know, I ride from time to time on part of the new Manchester network and it’s like moving into a new world (unknown here in Yorkshire).

The WYPTA should forget futile trolleybuses and take the necessary steps to acquire national funding to install our first new tramway here as the start of a future modern public transport system – trams.

Keith Terry, Leeds 8