How Leeds missed chance to bring back trams – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

Is a return of trams the answer to transport problems in Leeds?
Is a return of trams the answer to transport problems in Leeds?

BY the early 1950s, Leeds City Council’s visionary Transport Department had accomplished the early stages of a segregated mass transit system.

The city’s myopic Transport Committee chanted “flexibility” to stop its development and replaced it with diesel buses. On increasingly car-choked roads they became far less viable and attractive.

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In the 1980s their “flexibility” was a godsend to money-grubbing privateers. They re-routed and flexed services out of existence whilst bumping up fares for the benefit of their shareholders, making the roads even worse. Since then, a combination of council ineptitude and endless Westminster duplicity has brought about today’s dog’s breakfast.

Is a return of trams the answer to transport problems in Leeds?

In 2019, Boris Johnson proclaimed that the absence of a Metro in Leeds was “madness”. In December he added “we shall remedy the scandal”, omitting to add “as long as you pay for it” (The Yorkshire Post, December 1). Seventy years on, we’re back to “flexibility” – of wordage on a quite epic scale and with not one illusory yard of tram track to be seen.

From: Jerry Diccox, Main Street, Darley.

VERY good to see my former MP Kevin Hollinrake calling for the Government to revive plans for a fast rail link connecting Bradford and Manchester – and being joined in his call by Shipley MP Philip Davies. By contrast my current MP, Julian Smith, is characteristically quiet on the matter.

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Is a return of trams the answer to transport problems in Leeds?