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Author: Bill

Standing room only at the trolleybus public meeting

Councillor James Lewis and Councillor Richard Lewis
Councillor James Lewis and Councillor Richard Lewis

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The meeting was chaired by the Reverend Joanne Pearson, assistant rector at St George’s Church, and priest in charge at St Augustine’s, Wrangthorn and the speakers were Councillor James Lewis, head of the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, and Councillor Richard Lewis, head of Development at Leeds City Council.

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After an introduction by Tony Green, deputy chairman of the A660 Joint Council, there were short talks from the councillors, followed by questions from the audience.

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The councillors responded to a large number of questions and the meeting was good humoured. Several members of the audience expressed exasperation with the proposals when Councillor Richard Lewis said “Trolley does something different. It makes me quite frustrated that people can’t pick up on this fact.”

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Paul Marchant responded “If people don’t see this, maybe it’s your problem.”

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There were calls from the audience, “Tell us the difference.”

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The Reverend Joanne Pearson asked, “What is the difference?”

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Richard Lewis said, “It doesn’t stop frequently. It has a third the number of stops.”

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A member of the audience said, “Why not just have some other buses do that then?”

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Someone else said, “You’re just saying that a bus that stops less, will get there faster.”

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Richard Lewis responded, “James is clearer than I am about the technology that will be employed. I struggle to understand it. If bus companies want to stop less, they can do that.”

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There was only one neutral question put to the councillors, and one that was supportive (from a Bradford trolleybus enthusiast). All the rest were highly sceptical.

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The meeting was attended by over 100 people from right across Leeds, and there was standing room only.

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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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Alderman Townsley’s talk on NGT a big success

Heart
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There was standing room only this evening in the main hall at the Heart centre in Headingley. People from all along the A660 had turned out to hear transport consultant Don Townsley’s long awaited talk on why NGT would be bad for Leeds, and they were not disappointed.

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At the end of the evening, it was impossible to understand why any transport authority in 2013 would want to instal something which has so few benefits and is as inflexible as a trolleybus system.

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Alderman Townsley’s presentation was thorough, and persuasive. Some people I spoke to at the end of the meeting told me they had been dubious about NGT before the meeting, and now they are quite definitely against it.

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The NGT Business Case assumes the frequency of the Number 6 and Number 1 bus services would be halved

Number 1 halved
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There was a consultation event this evening at Ralph Thoresby School in Holt Park about the proposed trolleybus scheme. The scheme involves running trolleybuses from the city centre to a terminus at the Holt Park District Centre. The Holt Park terminus does raise concerns for many about the possible future conflict between the uses of the car park for shoppers as opposed to commuters.

During the event, NGT project manager Andrew Wheeler gave a slideshow presentation which highlighted something many may have been unaware of, namely that section 6.6 of the March 2012 NGT Entry Business Case Submission states that for services 1 and 6

it has been assumed that the frequency would be halved between Holt Park and the city centre

whilst for the 95 it

is assumed to be entirely replaced by NGT.

Not the best news for the more isolated residents in Tinshill and Cookridge who do not own cars?

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