YP Letters: Be radical and get city up to speed at last

Plans to spend �270m of trolleybus money on other transport schemes in Leeds have met with heavy criticism.

Plans to spend �270m of trolleybus money on other transport schemes in Leeds have met with heavy criticism.

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From: Bill Hunter, Derwent Road, Honley, Holmfirth.

Leeds undoubtedly needs more railway stations; large areas of the city do not have convenient access to the rail network unlike other major cities (The Yorkshire Post, December 5 and 6).

However I am not convinced that the proposals offer the best or only solutions or are sufficiently ambitious. Locating new stations within gaps on existing lines does make sense, especially where they will serve recent and major new development as at Thorpe Park.

However the proposed Leeds Bradford Airport station will require a bus link and major road construction, so why not upgrade and expand Horsforth station, as the bus journey would only be slightly further and would require little, if any, new or improved roads?

Other stations should be considered at Horsforth Woodside and east of the city centre in the vicinity of Marsh Lane, to serve many major destinations, including St. James’s Hospital. This would bring Leeds into line with cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh, all of which have two or more city centre stations.

The proposed White Rose station is close to Morley and Cottingley. An additional stop will increase delays to faster TransPennine trains unless the track is quadrupled. If the Northern Powerhouse means anything in Yorkshire, this should happen anyway as part of a wider upgrade in association with electrification – and sooner rather than later. What we don’t need are promises of HS2 and HS3 in a future so far distant that many of us will not be around to enjoy them.

From: Geoffrey North, Guiseley, Leeds.

I CONGRATULATE Tony Young for his letter (The Yorkshire Post, December 6) which provides such a comprehensive history of the failed attempts to create a new transport system in Leeds. In the same edition Stuart Andrew reinforces the urgency for better transport.

An upgrading of bus services and the bus infrastructure, though useful, will not in themselves solve the need for a long-term solution. Indeed I feel that all the trolleybus and tram schemes will not help in the long term because they are all competing for the same road space as other road users.

What I feel we need is a more radical solution such as an underground railway network. I know that tunnelling will be expensive but if they can do it in London with Crossrail why not in Leeds? Alternatively how about a rooftop monorail system?

From: D Angood, Britannia Close, Leeds.

READING your reports on the proposals of new stations and the rhetoric of Leeds Council, I find myself recalling similar reports from years ago. The only new idea is the station at Thorpe Park which is itself a new development. The other two stations have been muted over the years with nothing happening. There is nothing ambitious about these plans; they are only plasters covering the ever-widening cracks in the system.

What happened to the panel of “experts” appraising the contents of the consultation process? Have they been sent into hibernation?

Were these proposals already in the pipeline and the consultation only a diversionary tactic so the council could put their original ideas forward without mass opposition? Will the public ever see the contents of the consultation?

Everyone seems to agree about the need for a rail connection to the airport, but to put a station a mile away and then have to provide an access road is a ludicrous decision.

The technology and equipment is there to enable a connection at the airport – a tunnel from the Harrogate line to the airport and continuing to the Wharfedale line would provide a very viable link. I am sure this would gain support from the necessary people if the council were ambitious enough to adopt the idea but they do not appear to have the necessary acumen to think positively regarding some of their decisions.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

IT’S onward, ever onward to the 1950s as Leeds council, once again, claims that they’ve got it right and thus, the whole of Europe’s got it wrong. So too must have Sheffield, Manchester and Nottingham, who followed the European lead.

Once again, for those who don’t live near a rail route, the myopic cry goes up “buses are the answer”. If that doesn’t work, let someone else sort it out in 10 years time. It all sounds so familiar, I feel as if I’m back at school.

Councillor Judith Blake’s assertion that light rail could not be delivered by 2021 is nonsense. In 2004, road works were carried out in south Leeds and City Square, to enable track laying.

This was followed by Alistair Darling’s duplicitous withdrawal of funding, exacerbated by the council’s weak-kneed response, culminating in the £70m trolleybus fiasco.

The reservations mentioned in Tony Young’s letter are still there. Assuming that the three-line tram plans have not been dutifully shredded, dare I suggest that work could resume within six months?

From: Roger Backhouse, Upper Poppleton, York.

TRANSPORT Minister Paul Maynard’s reasons for dropping Selby-Hull electrification are bizarre and worrying.

His letter to David Davis MP (The Yorkshire Post, December 5) was clearly drafted by civil servants.

Those officers have opposed further electrification for many years, despite rail industry support and electric railways’ higher efficiency.

When driving I have often encountered delays due to road improvements.

Most motorists accept that as necessary. It is no different for rail travellers. Hull’s MPs and local businesses rightly criticised the Minister’s strange decision.

Their East Riding counterparts should join them in condemning this blow to Hull and the rest of Yorkshire’s rail services. Rail electrification is a necessity.

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