Councillor James Lewis and Councillor Richard Lewis
The meeting was chaired by the Reverend Joanne Pearson, assistant rector at St George’s Church, and priest in charge at St Augustine’s, Wrangthorn and the speakers were Councillor James Lewis, head of the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority, and Councillor Richard Lewis, head of Development at Leeds City Council.
After an introduction by Tony Green, deputy chairman of the A660 Joint Council, there were short talks from the councillors, followed by questions from the audience.
The councillors responded to a large number of questions and the meeting was good humoured. Several members of the audience expressed exasperation with the proposals when Councillor Richard Lewis said “Trolley does something different. It makes me quite frustrated that people can’t pick up on this fact.”
Paul Marchant responded “If people don’t see this, maybe it’s your problem.”
There were calls from the audience, “Tell us the difference.”
The Reverend Joanne Pearson asked, “What is the difference?”
Richard Lewis said, “It doesn’t stop frequently. It has a third the number of stops.”
A member of the audience said, “Why not just have some other buses do that then?”
Someone else said, “You’re just saying that a bus that stops less, will get there faster.”
Richard Lewis responded, “James is clearer than I am about the technology that will be employed. I struggle to understand it. If bus companies want to stop less, they can do that.”
There was only one neutral question put to the councillors, and one that was supportive (from a Bradford trolleybus enthusiast). All the rest were highly sceptical.
The meeting was attended by over 100 people from right across Leeds, and there was standing room only.