Alex's objection letter to the NGT Trolleybus

In October 2013 I wrote to the Secretary of State objecting to the NGT Trolleybus system and calling for a public inquiry which is now taking place. My letter is below and this is still my position.

Alex Sobel

Top Floor Flat, 8 Claremont Drive

Leeds, LS6 4ED



Secretary of State for Transport

c/o Transport and Works Act Orders Unit

General Counsel's Office, Department for Transport

Zone 1/18, Great Minster House

33 Horseferry Road

London SW1P 4DR

Dear Secretary of State for Transport

As a local resident I am writing regarding the proposed NGT scheme in terms of the TWAO. There is no doubt the City of Leeds needs an Integrated Transport System and its comparator cities in the UK and Europe all have such a system. The A660 corridor in particular from Hyde Park Corner to West Park is congested with poor travel times and air quality is poor which is an issue which needs tackling.

The NGT Scheme includes elements such as Park and Ride, segregation of cars from public transport, public ownership and improved cycle lanes which are all beneficial to local residents and the City as a whole.

However there are many other aspects which warrant further examination based on NGT Metro’s own claims such as increased congestion (see PEBC 8.9 Page 38) and on demographic trends not fully explored by NGT Metro such as demographic changes in Headingley due to student depopulation (see Renew/UNIPOL Assessment of Housing Market Conditions and Demand Trends in Inner North West Leeds).

I believe that it is in the interest of DFT, Leeds City Council and Metro as well as the communities of Leeds to have the fullest possible engagement with the TWAO and hope DFT will support a Public Inquiry for the NGT Scheme.

With the rapidly changing technology for busses powered by electricity the DFT should work with Leeds City Council and Metro to fully explore the best possible powertrain solution which will create and retain modal shift whilst minimizing disruption during construction. This aspect of the scheme should particularly focus on conditions from 2020 and for the medium to long term.


Alex Sobel

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commented 2014-08-20 21:02:18 +0100 · Flag
A year ago you called for a public inquiry, which is in process now. But what are your actual objections to the NGT? I can’t actually make this out from your letter. Most local people are set against it because a) it fundamentally changes the character of the area b) it isd very expensive and c) th emarginal gains it will create are not worth the money, or the disruption.

Rather than calling for a public inquiriy you’d be better to call for a proper, rigorous and completely independently conducted cost benefit analysis (costs being not just financial…). It would be most interesting to see what this would turn up.

I’ve been a labour voter all my life: the Local Authoritys shameful conduct in pushing on with this scheme despite the obvious shortcomings is making me change my mind and that makes me incredibly sad.

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