Letter: The car still rules supreme

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THE refusal of our council to listen properly to opposition to the trolleybus scheme,

shows that the motor car – having been allowed to rip

the heart out of our city some forty years ago – still rules supreme.

While the council hopes to run a park-and-scheme at Bodington, we are told that some 18,800 parking spaces are available in the city centre and also that multi-storey parking for up to 2,700 cars is envisaged for the new city-centre shopping developments, despite the fact that extensive research by Sustrans and others has shown that traders are wrong in thinking that people need cars to shop in the middle of town.

With the trolleybus scheme, our road planners also seem able at last to fulfil their dream of widened Headingley Lane, even though as Brian Richards so rightly says, ‘traffic engineers – at least the more enlightened ones – now accept that widening only brings in more traffic’ (Future transport in cities (Taylor & Francis, 2001).

Last week a delegation with representatives from Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, London and Glasgow went to Amsterdam to see how to make cities more bicycle-friendly.

Where was Leeds, despite next year’s Tour de France? Our council seems intent on not taking account of the latest developments designed to help those who live in the city, as we have already seen in the case of electric and hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Christopher Todd, Cumberland Road, Leeds 6