AT the time of writing, only one of the seven West Yorkshire mayoral candidates (Andrew Cooper, Green Party) has used your pages to tell us of their experience and abilities which would enable them to be the powerful voice for the county and the big hitter which we so much need.
And none of them have yet circulated to the voters anything about their hopes and ambitions, let alone something as concrete as a manifesto. One is almost led to the conclusion that none of them actually want the job.
However, unlike readers who ask what is the point of voting, it is still important that we all cast our votes. But please vote for whoever you think is best equipped to lead the county and fight our corner – don’t just do it on party lines.
And, if, sadly, you believe that none of them are up to the job, then still go and vote, but put “none of the above”, or something similar, on your ballot paper.
If enough people do that, then maybe the message will get through. Just think how embarrassing it would be if the new mayor knew that he or she had come second to the “none of you” movement.
Underground railway idea
From: James Bovington, Church Grove, Horsforth, Leeds.
SIR Andrew Cook’s analysis (The Yorkshire Post, April 24) of what is needed to improve transport in the North is perceptive and wide-ranging. I applaud his conclusion that HS2 is ‘of little use’ to the Yorkshire commuter and am delighted to read him waxing lyrical in praise of the electrified networks combining suburban rail and municipal trams in the S-Bahn systems of many German, Swiss and Belgian cities of comparable size to Yorkshire’s major cities.
Hence while I totally support his conclusion that the whole of the local rail network should be electrified, I was disappointed that he calls for a Leeds trolleybus system. Why not the gold standard of a fully integrated electrified rail system with city centre tunnels shared by regional trains and municipal trams?
I realise that there are issues with electricity supply, platform height and gradient but these can be overcome. Readers might want to check out the Gothenburg ‘WestLink’ project for an example that Leeds and Bradford could emulate.
The Stuttgart region has a comparable population to West Yorkshire. Stuttgart has 15 km of rail tunnel with 22 underground stations. I have submitted a detailed plan in the latest consultation for a 6 km tunnel under Leeds with five stations. I would hope that Sir Andrew would support such a scheme for major northern cities, although Liverpool already has the tunneled Mersey Rail network, Tyneside its Metro and Manchester plans a cross-city subway for 2040.
I hope that central area subways with an electrified rail network will form the backbone of transport development in West Yorkshire over the next 30 years. Maybe I will live to see it.
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