Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds travel: Ideas wanted for new mass transit system

A bus driving through Leeds
Image caption Officials want the views of the "operators of the best urban transit systems across the world"

Transport experts have been invited to submit ideas for a new mass transit system serving Leeds.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently said it was "madness that Leeds should be the largest city in Europe with no metro rail system".

Officials will put together a public transport plan "addressing the climate emergency through clean growth".

Leeds was previously set to get trolley buses and a Supertram but both were scrapped.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority is hoping to deliver a new transport scheme by 2033.

"The prime minister has acknowledged our need for a rapid mass transit system," said councillor Kim Groves, chair of its transport committee.

"We look forward to hearing from him on how his government intends to support us in developing one."

Image copyright West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Image caption Academics from the University of Leeds and University of Huddersfield are working on the scheme

Leeds has been described as lagging behind other European cities when it comes to public transport.

The council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority spent nearly 30 years and invested £72m in developing the Leeds trolleybus and Supertram projects.

The Leeds Supertram project was scrapped by the Department for Transport in 2005 because of affordability.

While the £250m trolley bus network, known as the Leeds New Generation Transport, was scrapped after a planning inspector deemed it was "not in the public interest".

Proposals are now being developed for a new scheme to carry large numbers of people in Leeds and the surrounding areas.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority, a group made up of local councils, said it was looking for "ideas and expertise" from around the world.

The new system is expected to allow 200 to 300 passengers to get off at each stop and could take the form of light rail or tram trains or buses.

It is expected to connect with existing train services as well as the planned high-speed Leeds to Manchester rail route.

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