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Month: March 2013

Rome’s Trolleybus Scheme Wastes Millions

Veltroni

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“Mayor Veltroni’s trolleybus scheme is a waste of millions” said the posters. The year was 2008, and the rival candidate for mayor Signor Alemanno had put up posters all over Rome promising to cancel the trolleybus project and replace it with an extension to the underground system. But in the end, the trolleybus scheme was accepted.

But Alemanno’s posters turned out to be right. Not only did the trolleybus serve no purpose, it proved extremely expensive. The enormous cost of the vehicles, built by the consortium Breda Menarini and Skoda was eye-watering. Under the terms of the contract, Rome Metro had agreed to pay a total amount of 40 million euros for 40 trolleybuses. That works out at the exorbitant cost of one million euros for each trolleybus (in Spain with this amount of money you can buy an underground train). In Latvia the same consortium contracted to provide 150 trolleybuses for just 53 million euros

All of this begs the questions: From whom does Leeds intend to buy trolleybuses? And at what price?

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References

1. Cinque Giorni
2. Roma Repubblica

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Large turnout to Alderman Townsley’s second talk

Don Townsley's talk
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Over sixty people attended this evening’s talk by transport consultant Don Townsley on why NGT would be bad for Leeds. This was Alderman Townsley’s second talk on this subject in the space of a month. The previous talk was also given at the Heart centre, and was attended by over a hundred people. Tonight’s talk was given for the benefit of those who were unable to attend February’s talk. Those present this evening included Councillor Richard Lewis, the head of Leeds City Council’s Highways Department, and Councillor James Lewis, the head of the board of Metro.

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Revealed : Metro’s plan to tarmac even more of Woodhouse Moor

Little Moor
Little Moor, with Woodhouse Cliff on the right, and the existing school access road on the left

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It’s bad enough that Metro and Leeds City Council want to run trolleybuses across Monument Moor. Now, thanks to the efforts of a vigilant local resident, we have learnt that they also plan to tarmac sections of Cinder Moor and Little Moor, and possibly also the gardens of numbers 5, 6 and 7 Woodhouse Cliff.

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Under their plan, Metro would :

  1. Widen Cliff Road all the way from its junction with Woodhouse Lane to Woodhouse Cliif. This would be done at the expense of Cinder Moor and Little Moor.
  2. Widen Woodhouse Cliff in order to carry traffic to and from City of Leeds School. This would be done at the expense of Little Moor, and possibly also the gardens of number 5, 6,and 7 Woodhouse Cliff.

  3. Instal traffic lights at the junctions of Cliff Road with Woodhouse Lane and Woodhouse Street.

  4. Close the existing road giving access to City of Leeds School from Woodhouse Street.

The reason Metro want to swallow up more of the Moor is because junction alterations required by the NGT trolleybus scheme at Hyde Park Corner will divert traffic along Cliff Road, which is currently too narrow to cope with the expected volume of traffic.

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Little Moor
Little Moor, showing trees that would be cut down as part the proposed road widening

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The first anyone outside of Metro and the Council knew about any of this was when a local resident witnessed two surveyors at work in the area. Subsequent enquiries revealed that they were employed by the Metconsultancy Group, carrying out work on behalf of Metro.

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This is just the latest Leeds City Council assault on Little Moor. The last one was in 1972 when they tried to build a hostel on the green space. Here is Audrey Marlow’s account of the battle to save Little Moor.

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