I trust that Dr Kevin Grady was commenting as a private individual on the Plans Panel deliberations last week, for his opinions do not sit easily with his position with the body whose purpose is to conserve and enhance Leeds’s architectural and environmental heritage and amenity.
Perhaps Dr Grady has been seduced by the argument for job creation, one which I find fanciful in the extreme. Or, he evidently sees the NGT scheme for the A660/A61 route as the forerunner of a city-wide rapid transit system: on A660 it hardly qualifies as “rapid”.
On A660 it will provide a worse public transport deal than at present, greater local pollution because of increased congestion; and a larger net carbon emission by Leeds’s traffic.
There are some positive aspects to the detailed plans, particularly the segregation of public transport passing the Parkinson Steps, but none of these positive aspects are contingent upon a trolleybus system, whereas all the downsides – despoliation of a uniquely suburban or semi-rural route going almost into the centre of the city by removal of hundreds of trees and their replacement with masts, overhead cables and extra stops, so that the whole becomes a city-centre type tentacle reaching out to the suburbs – are precisely contingent on the trolleybus.
And all are concerns of the Civic Trust.
We could do so much better, but that requires people of potential influence and authority to think outside their little boxes.
Dr JP Dickinson, Hollin View, LS16