Assessment shows Leeds has acute need for transport infrastructure investment - The Yorkshire Post says
Currently, less than four in ten of the city region’s population can currently reach the centre of Leeds by public transport within 30 minutes, according to the assessment.
While people across the region may have become accustomed to elongated journey times due to poor public transport, this is worse than for many European cities of a comparable size.
Given Leeds is one of the major cities of Britain, it is a key financial services hub, has a growing technology sector and is an attractive destination for students from all over the world, this is simply not good enough.
What the Network North plans, a sticking plaster issued by the Government to cover its embarrassment for betraying the North over HS2, highlight is that the region has fallen way behind when it comes to transport in the round.
The five yearly review, carried out by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), also estimates a capacity gap of at least 7,000 additional passengers unable to get into Leeds city centre during the midweek peak by 2055, based on current public transport provision.
The NIC rightly points out that the scale of the city’s transport capacity needs “is likely to justify investing in tram or rail based projects”.
A West Yorkshire mass transit system should be a key priority and as the NIC says given the lead in times for major projects, the planning and business case development needs to start in earnest.
If there is a lesson to be learnt from the HS2 debacle, it is that the Government needs to have the same appetite as it does for transport infrastructure in the capital when it comes to delivering in full.