Poor Value for Money

  • £250 million for 20 trolleybuses on a single 9 mile route.
  • 90% of the £250 million is for highways works.
  • Nottingham built the same length of tramline for £229 million in today’s money

Invalid Economic Argument

  • Metro claim that the trolleybus scheme would create 4,000 jobs. But according to the National Audit Office, Sheffield’s larger Supertram scheme created just 1,600 jobs.
  • Metro claim NGT would increase house prices. But when Supertram was proposed, people couldn’t sell their houses as no one wanted to live beside overhead wires and gantries.
  • By degrading the environment, the trolleybus scheme would make the A660 corridor a far less attractive place to establish a business.

Dangerous to Cyclists and Pedestrians

  • Pavements would be narrowed.
  • The trolleybuses would be bendybuses on narrow roads ill-suited to bendybuses.

Environmental Cost

  • The route is across Monument Moor and the fields on Headingley Hill.
  • Broad grass verges in Far Headingley and the central reservation between the West Park roundabout and Lawnswood would be tarmaced over.
  • Loss of greenspace.
  • Loss of over 400 mature trees.
  • Light pollution at night from the park and rides at Bodington and Stourton  and from the Headingley Bypass.

Health Cost

  • To give the trolleybus priority at junctions, all other road users would be held in traffic stacks leading to increased emissions.

Heritage Cost

  • Demolition of Victorian buildings.
  • Road widening on Headingley Hill involving demolition and re-locations.

Aesthetic Cost

  • Overhead cables attached to historic buildings.
  • Street clutter from the many poles needed to suspend the overhead cables from.

Increased Congestion

  • To give the trolleybus priority at junctions, all other road users would be held in traffic stacks leading to increased congestion.

Not an Improved Bus Service

  • The trolleybuses would make half the number of stops as the existing buses.
  • Metro say the number 1 and number 6 bus services would likely be halved.
  • The trolleybus stops would not be coterminous with the existing stops.
  • Passengers would have to choose which stop to walk to.
  • The extra time taken to walk to trolleybus stops would cancel out the small time saving gained from giving the trolleybus priority at junctions.

Unlikely to be used

  • Evidence shows an insignificant modal shift from cars to buses.
  • The trolleybuses would carry 160 passengers, with seating for just 60.
  • The time saving on the March 2012 number 1 bus journey from the city centre to Holt Park is either 1 or 3 minutes.
  • Leeds already has two bus-based park and rides, which are not well-used. The evidence indicates that people only use bus-based park and rides when there is a shortage of city centre parking, as at York. Leeds by contrast, has plenty of city centre parking.

Alternatives Haven’t been Evaluated

  • Metro has not evaluated battery-powered buses, tidal flows, a new tram system, or an underground.

Lack of public support

  • Metro has failed to publish the results of its Autumn 2012 to Spring 2013 consultation exercise.
  • There have bee numerous letters to the Yorkshire evening Post criticising the scheme.
  • At four public meetings, there has been overwhelming opposition.
  • Metro’s claim of public support for the scheme is based on a questionnaire with very little detail issued in 2009.