Leeds Green Party slams money wasted on trolleybus delays and calls for real action on Leeds transport problems

8 February 2016

Joe Salmon

Leeds Green Party activist Joe Salmon

Leeds Green Party has responded with dismay to reports that an estimated £5million of taxpayers’ money has been spent considering a trolleybus scheme for Leeds – and called for Leeds City Council to deliver real solutions to the city’s transport problems.

Recent reports claim Leeds City Council and its partner Metro have spent £4.9million on the ‘New Generation Transport (NGT)’ scheme, including £3.9million on consultants’ fees, despite early indications it is not the best solution for Leeds.

Leeds Green Party is calling on the council to stop wasting money and start investing in evidenced transport solutions to help people to get around via healthy, less-polluting and affordable means.

Joe Salmon, Leeds Green Party activist in Headingley, says: “We have been clear for a very long time that the trolleybus is not the way forward for Leeds. This waste of time and money is indicative of failures of government at local and national level. Meanwhile, people of Leeds continue to suffer transport problems every day. To solve these problems we must stop paying lip service to unrealistic options and start following through with investment in sustainable, active transport that benefits communities across Leeds. This means putting people on foot and bicycle first, and ensuring public transport is high quality, efficient and affordable.”

“Delivering better transport and active travel provision is easier than many people may think, and than many politicians make out. I can say that confidently because cities in Germany, France, Finland and Denmark have all faced similar transport problems. They have not only resolved these but put systems in place that make options like the trolley bus look archaic. We need to look to some of these great examples, which could make Leeds a less polluted, less stressful and healthier place to live.”

Leeds Green Party is calling on the Council to:

  • Stop wasting taxpayers’ money considering a trolleybus scheme, when we have known for some time it would not reduce congestion and pollution and is not the best solution for the city’s transport problems;
  • Use modern planning and technology, learning from our European neighbours, to ensure real improvements to walking, cycling and public transport in Leeds.
  • Invest in infrastructure that prioritises people on foot and bicycle, such as a joined-up network of segregated cycle paths, improved footpaths and 20mph limits. These sorts of measures often pay for themselves through public health benefits and road casualty prevention;
  • Make public transport an attractive and affordable option compared to driving. This means sensible regulation, subsidisation and smart ticketing, alongside congestion charging where appropriate;
  • Ensure bus services are cheaper and better quality through moving to bus quality contracts. This would bring bus services back under democratic control so the local authority fixes routes, fares and timetables, as is the case in London.

For more info:

Leeds Green Party: leedsgreen.party @LeedsGreenParty 
National Green Party policy: https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/ 
Or contact: leedsgreensnews@gmail.com