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Discussion Starter #1
West Yorkshire Combined Authority has commissioned a study on developing a Leeds City Region ‘Metro’.

An integrated and accessible ‘metro-style’ public transport system that is easy for people to understand, access and use is a key Combined Authority ambition. Heavy and light rail, tram-train and buses and the proposed NGT system for Leeds are among the transport modes being considered.

The Study will provide detailed analysis of the best routes and where there are gaps in the existing network and identify a range of solutions with their costs and benefits.
WYCA

What are peoples thoughts on what new routes could be introduced or reinstated? What type of transport method would be appropriate for each route? What investment models could be used to fund it?

Below is a comparison of what heavy rail in West Yorkshire looks like now and how it looked before from the West Yorkshire Lost Railways site.

Routes Map - Railway Network West Yorkshire 1834 - 1910


West Yorkshire Present
 

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Wired
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Many thanks Shiny Dave. That's a very informative set of maps.

Just a thought: you see the pink circles at various locations? Do these represent 'zoomed in' detailed maps which are elsewhere? If so, it would be interesting to see them too.
 

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Despite the rail network being denser in 1910, the north-east of Leeds still had no rail service. So even though a lot of rail re-opening could and should happen, an entirely railway re-opening based strategy would fail Leeds, which requires completely new rapid transit corridors to be created in parts of the city that never have been served by rail.
 

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Its a lovely idea but unfortunately it won't work, that aside the people of West Yorkshire deserve much better/ it isn't what we need.

Firstly metro style systems only work if trains are regular and by that I mean every 3-5min. We will be looking at 15min-1hour with current infrastructure simply mapped out a little better to make people feel happier. That means its not realistic to transfer onto another line etc.. and that is before you take into account delays and lack of seats.

Leeds needs a light rail system that runs above or under the ground. Yes, it is costly, but it is the only realistic solution This could run ground level to York, Bradford, Wakefield, Harrogate etc.. and also provide a link to various key parts in the city that are not adequately supported by reliable transport; the airport, Leeds Dock, Southbank, Elland Road, Birstall, Headingley, Otley, Thorpe Park, White Rose etc...
 

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That's a nice dream to have, but for starters I'd rather see the linking of Skipton and Colne, the restoration of the northern Skipton to Guiseley route and of course the perrenial pipe dream, a Guiseley to Horsforth link Via LBA.

And just those 3 would be well into the hundreds of millions.
 

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In east Leeds between cross gates and Leeds I can already name 3 possibly 4 stations that need building. Crucial that leeds' infrastructure is beefed up, as right now it's utterly shocking.
Seacroft hospital (major new housing development)
Halton dial (major road connections, centre of multiple housing estates, current derelict land suitable for station)
East end park (opening up the city commuter network to a major area of housing, 2 minute drive / bus to Leeds enterprise zone)

All of these places could be currently described as deprived areas. This would open them up to investment, commuter opportunities, and in turn improve social and business cases for these areas.

Low moor station (opening up the east of central Leeds, closest station to cultural quarter, bus station, Victoria gate, currently derelict land).

We have a long way to go.
 

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As I've said on here before what about opening the railway lines which go from Leeds to Huddersfield via Birstall, Cleckheaton, Liversedge, Heckmondwike and the line from Bradford to Wakefield via Cleckheaton, Liversedge, Heckmondwike, Thornhill Lees and Ossett which could in part use the same tracks for the two routes. Surely that would do a lot of good in getting a large and well populated part of West Yorkshire onto the railway network and will also have the advantage of allowing for an alternative route for longer distance train services from Leeds to Manchester and from Bradford to Sheffield, Doncaster and London on either the Midland or East Coast Main Lines.

As for the parts of Leeds which have no rail service then re-introducing trams would be better than trolley buses imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bump.

When we first started talking about Tram-Train (must be ten years ago now?) I had always envisaged it as an addition to NGT, rather than an alternative. Nonetheless, here we are and it would seem that the local authorities are now considering using the government funding for Tram-Train and have even been making plans for the past few months with that in mind.

However, as people have already said, this needs thinking out very carefully indeed. The right lines have to be chosen and it has to be ensured that tram traffic doesn't get in the way of other rail vehicles, since many lines are already reaching their capacity. In addition, there is the problem of North-East Leeds, which doesn't have any lines at all. The reopening of the Scholes line is the only way that access could be created there at reasonable cost.

For those unfamiliar with the subject, here is a .pdf file which was used at a presentation in Leeds back in 2009:
http://www.applrguk.co.uk/media/files/lr applrg tramtrain proposal leeds city region march 2009.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #9
...

Difficult to answer to be honest as I'm not quite sure exactly how far 173 million would stretch. I doubt it would buy some of the improvements suggested in the last few pages but I do think that the solution doesn't in the short term lie with one type of transport e.g tram, metro, t-bus etc.

Bits that spring to mind immediately:

Remove firsts monopoly on the buses back into authority control. Make it cost efficient for people to travel by bus on a quality service.

Implement the bypass through Headingley that would have been part of t-bus but route the traffic that way instead. Semi pedestrianise Headingley but route public transport through otley road. Install quality hybrid or electric buses on that route from a park and ride in Weetwood with as much segregated running as possible.

Invest in capacity at city station.

Park and ride at Horsforth Woodside

Park and ride into city from stourton on similar service to headingley route.

New stations on various routes but has to be backed up by operators with rolling stock.

Oyster card system with flat easy to understand fares. E.g £1.50 hop on/off that they have in London.

The key to me is making public transport appealing. Fast, cheap and on time. I could get a bus to work from outside my door to nearly outside my work but I don't I drive instead because the bus is usually late or doesn't turn up, has rude staff, realistically costs more than my car and is generally a pain. I only use it if I'm running home the odd time a week. And that's the service that's the flagship Leeds to Bradford bus.

The suggestions are all good but it has to be integrated. It all has to work together as one system and its not just infrastructure its marketing, pricing, payment, service etc. We need to think numerous connected modes as one. My rants not really at councilor blake, it's more at the lack of central support from the government and the spending gap between north and south.

Or they could just blow it all on a monorail. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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Here are my thoughts on what a future Leeds Metro and Rail Network could look like. The aim here was to segregate High Speed, Medium Speed and Metro services. The benefit of that is that if everything's running the same speed, and stopping in the same places, then capacity and thus frequency can be maximised.

Key:
-Red = Metro/Tram on existing railway/trackbed (would be taken out of Network Rail control)
-Orange = Metro/Tram on new alignment.
-Green = Heavy Rail on existing railway.
-Yellow =Heavy Rail on new alignment.
-Light Blue = HS3 (based on preliminary options suggested by Arup)
-Dark Blue = HS2




The main idea is to construct a tunnel from Horsforth to Kirkstall Forge to take Harrogate trains off the Horsforth - Burley section. This would provide quicker journeys to Harrogate (ideally with similar high quality electrified trains as used on the rest of the Airedale lines). The line from Horsforth to Leeds could then be converted to Metro/Tram.

The line to Castleford/Pontefract/Knottingley could also be converted to Metro/Tram (and Barnsley services rerouted via Wakefield Westgate via a new curve), and a new alignment built through Leeds City Centre (broadly similar to NGT) to connect Castleford-Horsforth.


Another, second line could be made by building a metro line alongside the East Leeds line (where the trackbed is wide enough all the way out to Micklefield), then through Leeds City Centre, before using the old viaduct at Wellington Place to connect to Bradford Line. In Bradford, some more street running through the city centre to connect with Forster Square and Shipley/Guisely in the North and Interchange and Low Moor/Halifax in the south. Tram-train technology could be used on the North and South lines into Bradford to allow the city to keep it's heavy rail services.

All the metro lines could then have loads of extra stations built along them, such as in East Leeds, Horsforth Woodside, all over Bradford etc.

Obviously all the above wouldn't come cheap, so it would have to be properly phased to split the cost.
 

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This whole debacle shows just how impressive the Tyne & Wear Metro system has been,and to think this was conceived over 50 years ago,and still one of the most efficient in the world,and now looking to extend it further to Washington and Durham.
 

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This whole debacle shows just how impressive the Tyne & Wear Metro system has been,and to think this was conceived over 50 years ago,and still one of the most efficient in the world,and now looking to extend it further to Washington and Durham.
I've not heard of any recent proposals to extend the Tyne and Wear Metro to Washington, Durham or anywhere else? Are there any sources confirming this planned expansion and is this a proposal to extend the Green Line which presently ends at South Hylton towards Washington and Durham or an all new line on a different alignment towards Newcastle from Washington and Durham (perhaps running alongside the ECML and / or on the disused Leamside line)? It would also be nice if the Leamside line could be reopened to provide an alternative route on the ECML between Darlington and Newcastle as well as more local railway journey opportunities.
 

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Tweets from Chief Exec of Leeds Council.....

So much else going right in Leeds. Need a new transport plan that matches ambition for city & this new era.
Need to involve best brains inc commuters, communities, universities, business, city region, etc & access to international best practice. First stage of that will be 10th June Transport Summit. Will work cross-party, cross-sector & right across the city to get this right. I really should've done more to stop the motorway city being built in the 70s. Yes, I was only two but that's no excuse.
 

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Is that Tom Riordan then? I guess the optimistic view would be that hopefully this debacle will focus minds and encourage all parties to come together and hammer out a genuine plan. Look forward hearing what happens on 10th June.
 

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Not that I'm sure an underground is appropriate for Leeds, the article if you read it explained how smaller cities have built underground systems from scratch, so I don't see why it's automatically not a viable alternative.
 

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Bilbao's metro cost £829 million to build. The first question that we need to ask, before we even contemplate building such a thing, is - where will the money come from? Central government, or local? That article states Bilbao's metro was funded via long-term loans. Does Leeds have similar access to such loans?

There are a lot of examples in other countries that simply wouldn't be viable here for one reason or another - and that reason is often down to a government unwilling to invest heavily in infrastructure. Everything here is about cost-to-benefit ratio, and if something is unlikely to deliver immediate returns, it's deemed too expensive to invest in, completely ignoring long-term benefits.

I think a tram is the only viable option for areas of Leeds currently not served by rail, because most or some of the costs could be funded locally.
 

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People also ought to wise up to the fact that they can't compare Lagos, Nigeria with the UK. This is the same issue that we talked about a few years ago (in fact someone brought it up again recently) with that H-Train thing, where the guy was trying to compare the costs of something that was built in China (with a fraction of the costs and little to no Public Inquiry expense) with the costs of the NGT in Leeds.

Some folk seem to be running away with the excitement of all of this, thinking that these are a reasonably-priced solution where really they should be taking a proper account of what things would cost, not just in this country but in this decade of this century. Bilbao in the '90s was a lot cheaper than Leeds in the 2010s.
 
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