Revealed : Metro’s plan to tarmac even more of Woodhouse Moor

swiss built h Little Moor, with Woodhouse Cliff on the right, and the existing school access road on the left


It’s bad enough that Metro and Leeds City Council want to run trolleybuses across Monument Moor. Now, thanks to the efforts of a vigilant local resident, we have learnt that they also plan to tarmac sections of Cinder Moor and Little Moor, and possibly also the gardens of numbers 5, 6 and 7 Woodhouse Cliff.


Under their plan, Metro would :

  1. Widen Cliff Road all the way from its junction with Woodhouse Lane to Woodhouse Cliif. This would be done at the expense of Cinder Moor and Little Moor.
  2. Widen Woodhouse Cliff in order to carry traffic to and from City of Leeds School. This would be done at the expense of Little Moor, and possibly also the gardens of number 5, 6,and 7 Woodhouse Cliff.
  3. Instal traffic lights at the junctions of Cliff Road with Woodhouse Lane and Woodhouse Street.
  4. Close the existing road giving access to City of Leeds School from Woodhouse Street.

The reason Metro want to swallow up more of the Moor is because junction alterations required by the NGT trolleybus scheme at Hyde Park Corner will divert traffic along Cliff Road, which is currently too narrow to cope with the expected volume of traffic.


swiss built h Little Moor, showing trees that would be cut down as part of the proposed road widening


The first anyone outside of Metro and the Council knew about any of this was when a local resident witnessed two surveyors at work in the area. Subsequent enquiries revealed that they were employed by the Metconsultancy Group, carrying out work on behalf of Metro.


This is just the latest Leeds City Council assault on Little Moor. The last one was in 1972 when they tried to build a hostel on the green space. Here is Audrey Marlow’s account of the battle to save Little Moor.

Alderman Townsley’s talk on NGT a big success


There was standing room only this evening in the main hall at the Heart centre in Headingley. People from all along the A660 had turned out to hear transport consultant Don Townsley’s long awaited talk on why NGT would be bad for Leeds, and they were not disappointed.


At the end of the evening, it was impossible to understand why any transport authority in 2013 would want to instal something which has so few benefits and is as inflexible as a trolleybus system.


Alderman Townsley’s presentation was thorough, and persuasive. Some people I spoke to at the end of the meeting told me they had been dubious about NGT before the meeting, and now they are quite definitely against it.

The NGT Business Case assumes the frequency of the Number 6 and Number 1 bus services would be halved

Number 1 halved


There was a consultation event this evening at Ralph Thoresby School in Holt Park about the proposed trolleybus scheme. The scheme involves running trolleybuses from the city centre to a terminus at the Holt Park District Centre. The Holt Park terminus does raise concerns for many about the possible future conflict between the uses of the car park for shoppers as opposed to commuters.

During the event, NGT project manager Andrew Wheeler gave a slideshow presentation which highlighted something many may have been unaware of, namely that section 6.6 of the March 2012 NGT Entry Business Case Submission states that for services 1 and 6

it has been assumed that the frequency would be halved between Holt Park and the city centre

whilst for the 95 it

is assumed to be entirely replaced by NGT.

Not the best news for the more isolated residents in Tinshill and Cookridge who do not own cars?

NGT – where the electricity would come from

Because the trolleybuses proposed for Leeds would be using electricity from the national grid, and because 72.5% of the electricity generated in the UK comes from burning fossil fuels, trolleybuses on the streets of Leeds would be no less polluting than diesel buses. All they would do is transfer pollution produced by buses, from the streets, to the areas around the power stations.

And because the Leeds trolleybus system would create several vehicle stacks to facilitate the movement of the trolleybus, any reduction in bus pollution on the streets would be offset by an increase in exhaust fumes from stationary cars, vans and lorries.

(photo courtesy of freefotouk)asd

John Bale calls for the trolleybus scheme to be scrapped

Former councillor John Bale is calling for the trolleybus scheme to be scrapped. In a letter published in today’s paper, he describes the trolleybus project as a “timid and parochial approach.”

He says that we need a “steel on steel transport system” which will decongest the roads. He ends by saying:

The need now is for political leadership of the kind demonstrated by Councillor Procter, not humble acceptance of second-best solutions.

As well as being a former councillor, John Bale is Emeritus Professor of Construction Management at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Councillor John Procter calls for the trolleybus scheme to be scrapped

Photo courtesy of Yorkshire Post Newspapers


Councillor John Procter is calling for the trolleybus scheme to be scrapped. In a letter published in Monday’s Yorkshire Evening Post, he says that in the wake of the news that the scheme is faced with a £20 million funding gap, the project should be abandoned.

He describes the trolleybus as a compromise, and argues that instead of pursuing it, we should be applying for money from the government’s new £50 billion infrastructure fund to build a tram system.

He says that what’s needed is vision and ambition, and that to continue with the trolleybus scheme would be a wasted opportunity for Leeds.

Call for tram system to be restored


Kieran Preston, the head of Metro, recently wrote in to the paper placing the blame for the city’s transport ills at London’s door. Correspondent Hannah Johnson wrote a feisty response, pointing out that if Mr Preston was serious about solving the city’s transport problems, he could improve things cheaply and quickly by restoring the city’s original tram network. Dan Laythorpe wrote in reply to say that there would be practical difficulties. G Geapin wrote in to point out the advantages that trams have over trolleybuses. Hannah Johnson wrote a letter in reply to Dan Laythorpe to say that the difficulties he raises are just suppositions.

The above photograph taken in 1955 shows two trams crossing Woodhouse Moor on their way from the city centre. The tram in the foreground is a Chamberlain 105 and the tram in the background is a Horsfield 202.

NGT – Trees to be replaced by tarmac at West Park

The central reservation of the A660 is lined with mature trees all the way from the West Park roundabout to the junction with Otley Old Road. The trees have been there for as long as anyone can remember and help to make the A660 one of the greenest and most beautiful avenues in Leeds

The people behind the NGT trolleybus scheme want to bulldoze the central reservation and its trees. In its place, they will lay tarmac. In addition, the trees to either side of the road will be cut back to make room for gantries from which wires will be suspended to supply electricity to the trolleybuses.

So, if the people behind NGT get their way, the current leafy view will be replaced by one of a broad expanse of hard tarmac with gantries and overhead electric wires.