Transport campaigners have welcomed proposals for a mass transit system serving West Yorkshire (UK). Plans in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s (WYCA) Connectivity Infrastructure Plan and Mass Transit Vision 2040 include developing an outline of the early phases of a new system during this decade, Also proposed are rail electrification and service improvements, improving transport connections for up to 675 000 people in the 20% most deprived communities in the region.
Previously, abortive plans have been published for tramway and trolleybus systems for Leeds and West Yorkshire. Leeds’ ‘Supertram’ envisaged a largely on-street network of three routes. Designed in the 1990s, work began in 2003 but the project was cancelled by the UK Government in 2005 which asked for a cheaper, bus-based alternative. This was cancelled in 2016.
In June 2019, future Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was “madness that Leeds should be the largest city in Europe with no metro rail system”.
Mel Reuben, LRTA Leeds Area Officer, said: “We welcome this opportunity to develop a comprehensive integrated transport system for West Yorkshire, with, we trust, a significant tramway component. Let’s hope this is not another false dawn and we will see construction begin in the not too-distant future”.
A GBP1.8bn devolution deal for West Yorkshire became law from 29 January, including GBP317m for investment in public transport, walking and cycling.