Why Leeds needs a tram network to prosper – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Roger Backhouse, Orchard Road, Upper Poppleton, York.

Should trams be reintroduced in Leeds?

The supposedly “free market” Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) think-tank has long opposed any form of public investment. So it isn’t surprising to see their representative Dr Richard Wellings using questionable arguments against a West Yorkshire mass transit scheme.

Suggesting there isn’t a high enough population density in West Yorkshire to justify a scheme makes me wonder if he’s ever travelled in the area. It is too often traffic choked and no amount of road improvements will significantly improve matters.

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I look forward to seeing West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s proposals. Delivered right, they could transform transport in the area in ways not seen since the demise of Leeds trams. The Croydon Tramlink transformed that suburb and an imaginative scheme could do the same for West Yorkshire.

Should trams be reintroduced in Leeds?

From: Nina Smith, Chair, Railfuture, Yorkshire.

RAILFUTURE is not surprised that Dr Richard Wellings is trying to stop the development of the much needed tram network in West Yorkshire. The IEA is a London-based, right wing, libertarian lobbying group.

Wellings criticises the proposed mass transit system as “useless for most travellers” because it does not go everywhere. He fails to acknowledge that it is a core part of a future integrated public transport system with trains and buses. Wellings advocates buses. Buses will always be important as feeders to trains and trams, and as the core public transport for less populated areas. But the sad decline in bus use since deregulation in 1985 demonstrates that buses are not an alternative to trams or trains.

From: Tony Young, Cross Bank, Skipton.

IN response to Richard Wellings, Leeds has a long history of abandoned tram plans dating back to 1945 when it had an imaginative project to build tram subways through the city centre, even buying three prototype subway trams.

That would have given Leeds one of the best transit systems in Europe. This is now a chance to get it right and save the environment and strengthen the local economy of West Yorkshire.

He should go over to Manchester and ask anybody he meets if that city could manage without its trams.

From: Colin S Moore, Hamilton Drive, York.

CURIOUS isn’t it that when Boris Johnson returned from the COP-26 summit he took a private jet back, reportedly to attend a private dinner at a gentlemen’s club? Yet when the Commons debated the Government’s conduct over sleaze allegations he came back by train, a three-hour journey from Newcastle. Nicely in time to miss the debate. As the actor Terry-Thomas used to say: “What a shower.”

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