Pictured above on the left is Patrick Hall receiving one of this year’s Hyde Park Unity Day Community Recognition Awards: a beautiful engraved mirror in a frame decorated with a mosaic produced by Alison. Picture below on the right is Bill Mckinnon receiving an award from Unity Day organiser Amit Roy.
Just down the hill from Woodhouse Moor is the Rose Bank, a public green space with one of the nicest views in Leeds. We are hoping to start a community food garden here. A place where people can grow food for free, transform their local area and meet their neighbours. On the Thursday the 25th of July we held an initial garden day and had lots of volunteers. Lots of local kids got involved and made themselves a herb bed. We are doing another session this Saturday the 3rd of August we are meeting on the bank between 12 and 4pm. If you want to find out more, help us with the food garden or just enjoy some refreshments and meet some new people please come down to the bank LS3 1HH. For more info contact Hyde Park Source.
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.
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.
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.”
Paul Marchant responded “If people don’t see this, maybe it’s your problem.”
There were calls from the audience, “Tell us the difference.”
The Reverend Joanne Pearson asked, “What is the difference?”
Richard Lewis said, “It doesn’t stop frequently. It has a third the number of stops.”
A member of the audience said, “Why not just have some other buses do that then?”
Someone else said, “You’re just saying that a bus that stops less, will get there faster.”
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.”
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.
The meeting was attended by over 100 people from right across Leeds, and there was standing room only.
“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?
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.