A senior Liberal Democrat politician today promised to build a mass transit system for Leeds as he unveiled his party's economic plans during a speech in the city.
Deputy Leader Ed Davey said the scheme would be paid for as part of the party's £130 billion infrastructure budget for the next five years and paid for through additional borrowing.
Giving a speech at Brewery Wharf in the city centre, Mr Davey said: “Liberal Democrats will invest big in infrastructure. Later in this campaign, we will publish full details of our infrastructure plans – for transport, for energy, for digital, for housing, for the regions.
"But here in Leeds today I can announce we will invest in plans for a public transport revolution across this great northern city. Leeds is the largest city in Western Europe without a mass transit network. Under Liberal Democrats, we will build one.”
He said the Liberal Democrats general infrastructure plan would be deliverable through a ‘back-loaded’ plan, increasing investment over five years, and because the Liberal Democrats would have the UK remain within the European Union, allowing access to frictionless trade with Europe.
With a population of three million people, the Leeds City Region – taking in West Yorkshire and the surrounding area – remains the largest metropolitan area in Europe without an urban transit system.
In 2016, plans to build a £250m trolley bus network in Leeds were rejected by the Government. The Department for Transport accepted a report from a planning inspector who said the scheme was “not in the public interest”.
During the campaign to become Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said it was ‘madness’ that Leeds does not have a mass transit system.
In August, transport bosses in West Yorkshire appealed for experts from around the world to come forward with ideas in the aim to develop designs for an advanced urban transit system that could be delivered by 2033.