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Lack of communication main reason key Leeds transport projects failed

A lack of communication with vital partners and the public was a key reason for the failure of Leeds’ New Generation Transport and Supertram projects, a report has this week revealed.

Publishing its draft report, the council’s infrastructure and investment scrutiny board said that it would learn lessons from the failure of the two projects to take onto future transport programmes in the area.

However, the study stated that the £173.5m of approved money from the government will enable Leeds to move forward with creating a better, more modern transport system for the city.

It was also concluded that the choice of technology was made without seriously thinking through the alternatives, something which had a fundamental impact on the delivery of the scheme in the latter stages.

Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Judith Blake said: “I’d like to thank everyone involved in this scrutiny inquiry which was vitally important in looking in detail at how the situation developed and most importantly the lessons to be learned.

“The key finding I take away from the report reinforces the need for continuous discussion and engagement with all key partners and especially the public so that the new transport strategy we have put forward reflects the views and ongoing needs of our communities so everyone in the city benefits.”

Starting the transport conversation began that process, Cllr Blake added, as it generated a fantastic response which along with engaging the views of a panel of independent transport experts directly shaped the new strategy.

“We are firmly committed to ensuring that two-way dialogue continues,” Cllr Blake continued.  “Retaining the £173.5million of funding together with additional partner investment gives us an unprecedented £270m which we are looking to maximise in order to transform the transport network in Leeds.

“Alongside this exciting programme of deliverable improvements in the coming years our ambition remains to provide a modern rapid-transit system for the city and we are continuing to explore options to bring that about in the longer term.”

The draft report will now be discussed and formally considered by the scrutiny board at its meeting at Civic Hall from 10:30am on 27 September. 

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Noam Bleicher   14/09/2017 at 08:21

I'd be very wary of greater public involvement. Egged on by the press, they will mainly ask for wider roads, free parking and scrapping bus lanes. Rail won't feature very highly in the wish list. I'd rely just as much on transport professionals, academics and case studies from continental cities.

Paul   14/09/2017 at 08:24

If Leeds wants to be considered a serious player in the Northern Powerhouse it needs to stop all this discussion and talk and get out and get something built. What has Leeds achieved - a couple of guided bus lanes. Manchester has a wonderful tram network and extending it, and even Sheffield has had a tram system for decades and now developing a light transit extension (albeit years late).

Jimbo   14/09/2017 at 10:11

I may be missing something here, but it sounds like this report was written by the people who have caused the problem - hardly an untainted view then. What they should do is find a similar city elsewhere who has implemented a successful approach, and copy it. The people who work for Leeds City Council do not know better than everyone else, so swallow your pride and get some results.

Barry   29/09/2017 at 11:22

It's infuriating that Leeds has terrible infrastructure and the council aren't vocal or organised enough to affect change. I guarantee the city will start haemorrhaging skilled people if they don't get a rapid transit system off the ground. As a software developer Manchester looks increasingly more attractive. Leeds must become a place where things happen, instead of a place where lessons are learned.

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