The gantry system on a catenary system – Environmental and Aesthetic impact

There are many examples on the web of what a trolley bus support system looks like. The drawings on the NGT website indicate little and give no measurements. The diagram above shows what it could, and probably will, be like. There is no hard information from the proposers of the NGT. The dimensions here are calculated on the height to accommodate a double-decker bus. The cute diagrams of traffic-free streets and gossamer cabling systems on the NGT website bear no relationship to the engineering and safety requirements and their visual impact.

The probable height of the catenary system to accommodate double-decker buses on the route of the NGT

There are very few single deck trolley bus systems

There are very few single deck trolley bus systems that share the route with double-decker buses. Single-decked trolley bus routes tend to be designed for special routes not shared with high-sided vehicles. The NGT shares many parts of its route with double-decker buses. The diagram above shows the problem. It creates a very high catenary system. Double-decker buses raise the roof on the engineering. The heights above are researched but are estimates only. The power cables in the catenary system will carry up to 700 volts. So there won’t be any open-topped buses in the unlikely event of Leeds United winning a trophy anywhere near the NGT system.

It is very hard to get detailed information on the NGT Leeds scheme. There is none given on the NGT website except unrealistic pictures which are just a marketing exercise. The information I have given is based on other schemes, all of which use slightly different constructions of their catenary system.

NGT – The Vehicle Stacking System on Woodhouse Moor

The traffic queues that daily stretch all the way from Headingley Hill to Hyde Park Corner are soon to become a thing of the past. And the jam that stretches from the city centre to the junction with Clarendon Road is also to be consigned to history.

The highways engineers behind NGT have come up with a scheme which will transfer both traffic jams onto the stretch of the A660 that crosses Woodhouse Moor. Currently this is a dual carriageway where traffic flows freely. And as a dual carriageway, it is much wider than the stretches of the A660 to either side of it which daily become jammed with traffic. By cleverly progamming the traffic lights on the the A660, the highways engineers hope to get traffic quickly off the narrower stretches of road, and onto Woodhouse Moor using what is known as a “vehicle stacking system.” By this means, the trolley bus will be able to travel more quickly along the narrower stretches of road to ether side of Woodhouse Moor.

It’s a sad indictment of Leeds City Council that it’s prepared to exploit an inner city park and expose its users, including families with young children, and students, to the emissions produced by stacked traffic.

The emissions produced by stacked traffic.

NGT – outdated senseless – we need a scheme fit for our city

NGT involves running trolley buses over already really congested roads with NGT involves running trolley buses over already really congested roads with long distances between stops (meaning lack of convenience for passengers). To proceed with this ill-advised scheme simply to get Governnent money would seem to be very short sighted if not downright irresponsible. How much better to scrap it now and start work on building an underground system. Only an underground scheme can meet the needs of Leeds, a sprawling city with a defined centre. Conferences held in Amsterdam point the way forward for such schemes (modern ones, not Victorian ones like the London Underground). Tunnelling is now very much cheaper than you would imagine.

It would be a labour intensive infrastructure scheme, of just the type the Coalition Government is proposing to take Britain out of recession. It would be costly, but the cost would be in jobs – which surely can’t be bad for the Leeds economy. The scheme could be designed and then implemented gradually as Government money is made available. Once built, it would confirm the importance of Leeds as a prime UK city.

If we had started on this 20 years ago, most of it would be built by now. Once built, we will have it for generations. Just think what it would do for the vitality and future of Leeds.

NGT – Woodhouse Moor to be sacrificed so motorists won’t be held up

Annn article in the Yorkshire Evening Post informs us that the NGT trolleybus An article in the Yorkshire Evening Post informs us that the NGT trolleybus scheme has been given the green light, but fails to mention that the proposed route will take it across Woodhouse Moor.

The original idea behind NGT was to get people out of their cars and onto public transport. But somewhere along the line, the planners have lost sight of that. Incredibly, the reason they want NGT to run across the Moor, is so that inbound motorists won’t be held up by the trolleybus at the junction of Woodhouse Lane with Clarendon Road. Don’t they realise that if motorists are held up by the trolleybus at this junction, that’s just the incentive they need to get them out of their cars and onto the bus?

Woodhouse Moor is the only one of our inner city moors to have escaped the motorway building frenzy of the sixties and seventies. Now it too is to be sacrificed to the motor car.

NGT trolley bus – another daft idea

The proposed NGT trolley bus for Leeds does not decrease carbon dioxide pollution; it just delocalises it away back to a coal fired power station. The transmission losses actually increase carbon dioxide pollution. It will do less than buses do as it can’t be deployed for school runs, specials, and can’t be used off its wires. It only covers a small part of the city. Bus lanes and cycle lanes will be removed. Mature trees dug up, Yorkshire stone walls removed and more concrete installed at junctions. The private companies that build and run it will make a fortune out of the initial public investment of £250+ million.

Only a deprivatised, locally controlled, cheap, integrated transport system will make a dfference to our mad, congested car culture.

The NGT has attracted much adverse comment in the YEP. An extract is given below:

“Wow! Buses on wires! I can barely cope with the excitement. It’ll be like riding on a bus. With wires!

We’ll be able to look up to the sky, and see wire after wire. I liked the wire, so I’m all for it! It’ll only cost the GDP of a small country, and I like buses too!”

We need more urban railway stations. There are six that could be rebuilt now. There are regional rail lines that could be restored such as the Wetherby line. Leeds should spend the £250 million as it sees fit and ignore this central Government publicity stunt. Its just an election promise which will just be cancelled in a few years time.

A large white elephant would be the most suitable logo for this scheme.

The road widening threat to Woodhouse Moor is back, and it’s called NGT

NGT trailerLast Thursday, the 18th June, Leeds City Council and Metro unveiled their plans for New Generation Transport (NGT), a scheme that would see trolleybuses running in leeds for the first time since 1928.  The plan is to have three routes; the East Route, the South Route, and the North Route, with the trolleybuses running along dedicated bus lanes wherever possible

The North Route would run along the line of the A660.  Because there’s no plan to knock down any of the buildings opposite the university, this would create a bottleneck at the junction of the A660 and Clarendon Road. To cope with this bottleneck, traffic would be stacked on Woodhouse Moor.  This would be done either by widening the existing road between Rampart Road and Clarendon Road, or by building a new road across Monument moor.  The second option exists because the Highways Department are aware of local sensitivity about losing the avenue of trees.

The stated aim of the scheme is to create an improved public transport system using dedicated bus lanes wherever possible. But if that’s the aim, then it could be achieved by creating dedicated bus lanes within the existing highway.

This scheme would affect Woodhouse Moor in an almost identical manner to the scheme proposed by Highways at the end of last year. At that time, we were told that the road widening was necessary to facilitate a pedestrian crossing on Clarendon Road.

A new website has been set up to keep people informed about this latest threat to our area – New Generation Transport