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Letter: Transport targets must be realistic

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I agree with your various correspondents that building an underground Metro network, integrated with the wider transport network, would be a major long-term investment for the future of Leeds, West Yorkshire and the City Region.

Unfortunately, an underground scheme costing up to 10 times (over £220m per kilometre of tunnel) as much as a surface network to construct , would never meet the extremely high levels of benefits that successive UK Governments have stipulated transport schemes must generate. Patronage figures for a Leeds Metro system would need to be double those that were forecast for Leeds Supertram to meet the capital and revenue costs.

Yes other European cities are building metros but in countries that spend on average 50% more as a percentage of GDP on transport than the UK.

That is why Metro and its partners are progressing plans for achievable projects that can efficiently address the Leeds City Region’s specific transport requirements and gain Department for Transport approval rather than developing prestigious schemes that in the UK would never get off (or under) the ground.

Kieran Preston OBE, Director General, Metro