Leeds trolleybus comeback scheme approved

Trolleybus in Lyon, France Trolleybuses are common in many European cities

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Leeds is to become the first UK city to get a modern trolleybus system, it has been confirmed.

Plans for the city's £250m scheme, which were first discussed in 2007, have been approved by the Transport Secretary Justine Greening.

She said the trolleybus system would generate about 4,000 jobs and boost West Yorkshire's economy.

The Department for Transport will pay £173.5m towards the scheme, with the rest coming from local authorities.

A trolleybus has rubber tyres and runs on overhead electric power, unlike a tram which runs on rails in the ground.

A trolleybus system originally served the city between 1911 and 1928.

'Great news'

The new scheme, which has been called New Generation Transport (NGT), will link the city centre with park-and-ride sites in Holt Park, in the north, via the A660, and Stourton, in the south, via the A61.

Work is expected to start in 2016, with the network operational by 2018.

Councillor James Lewis, chairman of public transport provider Metro, said he was delighted.

Trolleybuses

  • Modern trolleybuses run on rubber tyres rather like a bus
  • They are powered by electricity from overhead wires
  • Supporters say they are quiet, clean and do not pollute the environment
  • The Leeds trolleybuses would use mainly dedicated lanes to minimise congestion and improve journey times

"This is great news for our region, by speeding up journeys into and around Leeds, improving local connectivity and preventing the growth of congestion, NGT will provide a £160m per annum boost to the local economy and the creation of 4,000 permanent jobs," he said.

"NGT will speed up our recovery from recession, boost our economy and enhance our ability to compete on the national and international stage."

Ms Greening said: "Leeds will have new state-of-the-art trolleybuses that will be faster, more reliable and greener than their predecessors.

"They will make public transport in Leeds more accessible and attractive than ever before and I know trolleybuses will be transformational for growth and jobs in West Yorkshire.

"Investment on this scale in precisely this kind of infrastructure is a recognition of how crucial Leeds and Yorkshire are to the long-term success of the British economy."

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