Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds trolleybus project bid approved

Trolleybus in Lyon, France
Image caption The electrically-powered trolleybuses would help reduce the city's carbon footprint, councillors say

Stalled plans for a £245m trolleybus system in Leeds could be back on track after councillors agreed a final bid.

In October, the government said the scheme would have to compete for funds, despite having been approved by the previous Labour administration.

On Wednesday, Leeds City Council approved a "best and final bid" to go to the Department for Transport (DfT).

If approved, the trolleybus network would link two park-and-ride sites at the edge of Leeds with the city centre.

Leeds City Council said the system, involving a fleet of electrically-powered buses, would help the city's economy grow and improve the local environment.

'Really important'

Richard Lewis, the council's executive member responsible for development, said: "After the proposal was stalled last year as part of the government's comprehensive spending review, we now have to submit our bid to hopefully get the scheme moving forward again.

"We estimate that the trolleybus scheme could generate around 4,000 jobs in Leeds and the wider city region, as well as around 1,000 jobs during the construction, so it's really important we get the nod from the DfT.

"The trolleybus network's ability to tackle congestion and reduce the city's carbon footprint will speed Leeds' recovery from recession.

"It will boost its economy and enhance the region's ability to compete on the national and international stage.

"It is so important we get this bid to the government sooner rather than later to prevent costs going up even more."

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