Pictured below: A660 route
The Headingley Enterprise and Arts centre, saw transport consultant Alderman Townsley present a talk that condemned the planned New Generation Transport scheme for Leeds.
A packed venue, was given a list of expected negative consequences of proposed £250 million project. Some of the major pitfalls highlighted during the talk ,included concerns with the high cost of the planned route, and claims by Townsley of a shortfall in the funds ,actually available for the planned infrastructure.
Alderman Townsley claimed the solution in improving the Leeds transport network was not to be found through the development of the trolley buses scheme.
Townsley urged the council to concentrate on pushing for a development that would see Leeds contain electric buses ,light rail and the building of an underground system that would bring the cities transport infrastructure , in line with other major cities.
The presentation given by Townsley , further questioned the room for the trolley buses , in areas such as ,Headingley ,West Park and on the A66O route.
Loiners eye spoke to a number of people present at the talk, who were totally convinced by Townsley and his findings. Matt Lambert, a resident in the West Park area agreed with the concerns regarding the widening of paths to accommodate the trolley lane, saying.
“Clearly parts of the route the line will take are not suitable for such a major form of transport.
The presentation made it clear that economically and environmentally, it’s really not the right way forward to deal with the cities traffic congestion.”
Richard Walker spoke to Loiners eye and referred to a recent online post written by local estate agent Micheal J Moore. The local estate agent highlighted the impact the development could possibly have on property prices in the area.
Richard spoke of the Moore’s opinion ,that prices would dwindle due to noise pollution and unsightly lines in the area and the cutting down of trees during the construction of the route, saying.
“The article gives an expert opinion on the impact such a development could have on property prices in the area.
People see areas like Headingley and areas surrounding the A660 route as more rural due to the surroundings and the easy access to villages such as Otley where you have fantastic countryside. These kind of factors increase the value of properties in these areas.
I think Moore makes a good case when saying properties could suffer because of the route.”
The possibility that the Cycling Lane on the Otley road would have to be scrapped concerned some present at the talk also.
The evening will undoubtedly lead to some form of protest from those against the planned (NGT) Scheme. Those present at the evening talk seemed intent , on forcing the Council into exploring other solutions to revitalise the Leeds transport network.
Townsley’s insistence that the scheme is not financially possible with the available governments funds of £173 million , may force an overall rethink by the council and Government.