A YORKSHIRE MP today called for major transport improvements after a new report reveals traffic jams will cost motorists In Leeds and Bradford a “shocking” £2.6 billion by 2025.
Transport information company Inrix found time wasted in the UK’s worst traffic jams will leave drivers out of pocket to the tune of £62 billion by 2025.
London topped the list of 10 worst UK cities for congestion costs with delays in the capital estimated to set drivers back £42 billion over the next decade.
Leeds was seventh in the list with an estimated cost to drivers of £1.5 billion by 2025. Bradford was eighth at £1.1 billion.
Leeds North West Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland said Leeds City Council should now take a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to start work on a light rail scheme for the city as Pudsey Conservative MP Stuart Andrew claimed the local economy is “losing out” and called for a fully integrated transport system.
The Inrix study, which used travel time figures from a Department of for Transport Commssioned report, identified the worst hotspot in Leeds as the westbound M62 junction 26 with junction one of the M606.
The worst hotspot in Bradford was the A650 in the city centre to the A6038 Otley Road.
In last week’s Autumn Statement, the Government pledged to spend £220 million to tackle congestion on England’s motorways and major A roads.
Leeds North West Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland said: “It is shocking that traffic congestion will cost Leeds and Bradford £2.6 billion by 2025 and this shows that the Leeds City Region urgently needs major transport improvements.
“Following the scrapping of the New Generation Trolleybus scheme, Leeds City Council have been given £173.5 million by central government, and with up to £81m of local funding for NGT, the city has £250m and a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform transport in Leeds and to at least get started with a mass transit light rail scheme.
“Yet it seems Leeds City Council are set on frittering away the £173.5 million on park and rides and smaller improvements. “This is showing a complete lack of leadership and ambition for our city which they will condemn to continue to be the biggest city in Western Europe without a mass transit scheme.
Pudsey Conservative MP Stuart Andrew said: “This highlights exactly why Leeds needs a fully integrated transport system. “Our local economy is losing out as a result. The key point is that we need alternative provision to reduce the need for more car journeys to be taken on our busy roads.
“The £173m funding was hard fought for and it must be spent wisely. There is a significant amount of work being done on transport projects in a boost to the north of England but we need to have an integrated system. For businesses to continue to succeed and for more jobs to be created we need to have a system that works from the moment you arrive in the city.”
No-one from Leeds City Council was avalable to comment.