Letter: Trolleybus route trees need not face the chop

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Apparently construction plans for the projected Leeds trolley bus/NGT line - and for the aborted Supertram scheme - involve cutting down tall, decades-old trees in the central reservation of Otley Road in the Lawnswood/West Park area, both north and south of the Outer Ring Road roundabout.

This would be manifestly detrimental to the attractive character of that location.

I actually believe that a modern tram route would have been a boon to the Headingley-Otley Road corridor, after completion of construction and with service up and running and I have considerable reservations about the effectiveness of a trolleybus scheme on that route, however state of the art it will be.

What is difficult to understand is why these trees cannot co-exist with the over head wires, catenary and trolleypoles or pantographs necessary for either of these types of vehicles traction.

I have in my possession a photograph, taken in Brussels, Belgium of a modern tram on the central reservation of a boulevard with tall trees to the vehicle’s offside. The branches above the wire and supporting catenary have been carefully and attractively lopped so that the branches still overarch the tram’s alightnment, yet are well clear of it.

This scene, apart from tram and track, is not unlike that on Otley Road near Lawnswood School, therefore, one asks why cannot the trolley bus alignment be placed similarly, allowing these fine trees to remain in situ to the benefit of the area?

D Laythorpe, Kendal Bank, Little Woodhouse