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.
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.
Under their plan, Metro would :
- 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.
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.
Instal traffic lights at the junctions of Cliff Road with Woodhouse Lane and Woodhouse Street.
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.
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.
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.
The first presentation of this talk was given on the 27th February to a packed audience – “full to standing”. By popular demand this is a further opportunity to learn the facts about NGT and form a balanced opinion without the sales pitch.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The fifth of the trolleybus drop-ins took place this evening in the main hall at City of Leeds School. It was extremely well attended. Outside it was cold, with snow still lying on the ground. But inside it was warm and inviting. Hot drinks, cake and biscuits were on offer, and headmistress Georgie Sale had very kindly provided a large supply of delicious carrot cake that had only just been baked. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, and I met a number of people I’d not seen before.
The NGT team had prepared the hall in advance, so everything was in place when visitors started to arrive at 5.30pm. There were large scale trolleybus route maps on the walls, and artists’ impressions of how the trolleybus would affect various stretches of the A660. There was also a large scale version of the NGT project timetable which clearly showed the various stages of the project and when they might take place. Friendly NGT staff were on hand to answer people’s questions.
This evening’s drop-in was the best organised of the trolleybus drop-ins so far, and also the most welcoming. Thanks are due to the NGT team for organising it. And especial thanks are due to headmistress Georgie Sale for allowing her fine school hall to be used for the drop-in, and for her hospitality.
Further drop-ins will be held as follows:
Time: 6.00 to 7.00pm
Date: Thursday 31 January 2013
Place: Ralph Thoresby School, Assembly Hall, Holtdale Approach, LS16 7RX
Time: 3.00 to 4.30pm
Date: Thursday 7th February 2013
Place: Hunslet Library, Waterloo Road, LS10 2NS
Hunslet, St Mary’s Primary School
Time: 5.30 to 7.00pm
Date: Thursday 7th February 2013
Place: St Mary’s Primary School, School Hall, Church Street, LS10 2QY
Because the trolleybuses proposed for Leeds would be using electricity from the national grid, and because 72.5% of the electricity generated in the UK comes from burning fossil fuels, trolleybuses on the streets of Leeds would be no less polluting than diesel buses. All they would do is transfer pollution produced by buses, from the streets, to the areas around the power stations.
And because the Leeds trolleybus system would create several vehicle stacks to facilitate the movement of the trolleybus, any reduction in bus pollution on the streets would be offset by an increase in exhaust fumes from stationary cars, vans and lorries.
(photo courtesy of freefotouk)asgh
Former councillor John Bale is calling for the trolleybus scheme to be scrapped. In a letter published in today’s paper, he describes the trolleybus project as a “timid and parochial approach.”
He says that we need a “steel on steel transport system” which will decongest the roads. He ends by saying:
The need now is for political leadership of the kind demonstrated by Councillor Procter, not humble acceptance of second-best solutions.
As well as being a former councillor, John Bale is Emeritus Professor of Construction Management at Leeds Metropolitan University.