Letter: Tram system argument is completely off the rails

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Dan Laythorpe was very quick to dismiss my suggestion that we peel back the tarmac from our roads to restore our old tram system (YEP 26.10.12).

He claims that the tracks will have corroded but provides no evidence to back up his claim. He also claims that the tracks will have warped under the weight of decades of heavy traffic. Again, he provides no evidence to back himself up. Why should tracks buried under the road be any more likely to warp under the weight of traffic than tracks that are bedded in the road’s surface? He also says that modern trams are heavier and so require sturdier rails. But I wasn’t suggesting we use modern trams. I was suggesting we restore our old tram system. We could order trams designed to run on the original rails, just as Blackpool has done. Dan’s final argument against restoring our old tram system is that it would be dangerous because the trams used to run down the middle of the road and there’s more traffic on the roads now than there was then. But surely the entire point of having a tram system is that people will use it rather than their cars, so there will be less traffic on our roads.

Instead of restoring our old tram network at minimal cost, Metro and Leeds City Council seem determined to waste £250 million of public money on a trolleybus system that will be no different to any other bus system. The only people who will benefit from this are the construction companies, and the German or Italian companies who will supply the trolleybuses.

Hannah Johnson, Stanmore Crescent, Leeds