die belebende Bedenkung

The hardest word of all

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Five days after the transport strategy for Leeds hit the buffers, “sorry” still appears the hardest word of all to say (wrote Tom Richmond).

[Tom Richmond: The Trolleybus scandal. Leeds humiliated by breakdown of transport leadership, Yorkshire Post, 17 May 2016]

Indeed this lack of contrition, after a Government planning inspector rejected the city’s ill-conceived £250m trolleybus plan, is precisely the type of dismissive behaviour which brings politics – and public life – into disrepute. Is no one going to accept responsibility?

Already £72m of taxpayers’ money has gone to waste on legal costs in a congested city no nearer to developing a light rail system than it was three decades ago. And some of the key figures are the same individuals driving transport policy for the wider region.

There’s Keith Wakefield, the longstanding leader of Leeds Council until he stepped down in May 2015. The Labour veteran now heads transport on the Combined Authority and says trolleybus was pursued “in line with government advice”.

There’s Tom Riordan who headed the profligate Yorkshire Forward regional development agency before becoming council chief executive in 2010.

There’s Trolleybus champion James Lewis who headed Metro, the area’s passenger transport body, before it was replaced by West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The Labour councillor is deputy leader of Leeds Council.

And then there’s Martin Farrington, the director of city development in Leeds since 2010 and project leader. Under cross-examination, he conceded that he was “not an expert” in “transport planning”.

It’s summed up by the closing legal submission of bus firm First West Yorkshire Limited: “Despite claiming that there was a need for a rapid transport system, Mr Farrington was not aware of the average speed of the proposed trolleybuses…

“When asked what proportion of passengers using the trolleybus would come from using the car, he candidly said that he was not in a position to answer and had ‘no idea’.”

Jon Peters (SDG) on the Leeds NGT project

Yorkshire Post: 'Why HS2 is key to better public transport in Leeds' (?)

Written by beleben

May 17, 2016 at 12:56 pm

2 Responses

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  1. THE POWER HOUSE OF THE NORTH – SEE TOPIC 35 available from the home page


    May 17, 2016 at 4:59 pm

  2. #HS2 is a fraud against the nation imposed by an abuse of power masquerading as ” politics ”

    This is exemplified by a CBR for #HS2 by HS2Ltd which is flawed in principle and detail In a similar way to the fraudulent Annex B For the Cradlewell Bypass A1058 in 1992

    Applied I F Limited Director Geoffrey Stansfield BSc MSc AMCST CEng MICE Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers for 50 years One time Member of Northumbria Police North East Fraud Forum Director of Applied I F Limited Joint Author of #QUIXOTE Interim Report being a National Forensic Pro Bono Investigation into perceived Voting Irregularities including alleged Fraud by amounts Added False Ballot Papers at the UK 2015 General Election GS AIFL has been invited by Letter dated 7 January 2016 from the UK Police College to work jointly with the Police College and the Electoral Commission There are conflicts of interest for AIFL to work alongside the Electoral Commission since factual evidence of alleged substantial corrupt practice within the Electoral Commission already exists as a finding of fact

    G Stansfield

    May 18, 2016 at 6:22 am

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