Greening approves £250m for Leeds trolleybus system

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Trolley bus systems remain in operation in a number of locations in mainland Europe, including Stuttgart (pictured)
Trolley bus systems remain in operation in a number of locations in mainland Europe, including Stuttgart (pictured)

Trolleybuses are set to return to Leeds after Transport Secretary Justine Greening approved £250m for the public transport system.

The so-called New Generation Transport scheme delivering the UK’s first modern electric trolleybus system, takes the bulk of DfT funding (up to £173.5m). The remainder (£76.5m) is coming from local authorities.

The project has been granted “programme entry status” by the DfT allowing WYPTE Metro to apply for the statutory consents necessary for the scheme. Subject to these being granted, work will start in 2016 with the trolleybus fully operational in 2018.

When completed it will run from Holt Park in the north to Stourton in the south, linking with two Park-and-Ride sites. The trolleybus will operate in exclusive designated lanes along more than 40% of its 8.7 mile length.

Justine Greening said: “Leeds will have trolleybuses which will be faster, more reliable and greener than their predecessors. They will make public transport in Leeds more accessible and attractive than ever before and I know trolleybuses will be transformational for growth and jobs in West Yorkshire.

“Investment on this scale in precisely this kind of infrastructure is a recognition of how crucial Leeds and Yorkshire are to the long-term success of the British economy. It is also a great example of what this coalition government and West Yorkshire partners can achieve when we knuckle down together and stick at finding a real solution to today’s challenges.”