Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

City lodges 275m trolleybus plan

Trolleybus in Lyon, France
Trolleybuses are common in many European cities

A bid to operate trolleybuses in Britain for the first time in more than 40 years is being submitted to the government this week.

Public transport provider Metro wants to build a £275m, 14km (8.7 mile) electric bus network in Leeds.

Metro's proposals will be submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) on Friday. If they are approved, the buses could be in operation by 2015.

Bradford, the last UK city to operate trolleybuses, shut its system in 1972.

The new trolleybus network, which will be called New Generation Transport, would link two new park-and-ride sites at the edge of Leeds with the city centre.

The buses, which carry up to 160 people, would also connect the city's two hospitals and universities.

Tram replacement

Metro said it expected to hear the DfT's decision by the end of the year.

If the plans are approved, Metro said 90% of the cost of the scheme would be provided through a regional funding allocation with Metro and Leeds City Council paying the rest.

It is hoped the scheme, which is similar to one in Lyon, France, will tackle congestion and reduce pollution in the city centre.

Trolleybuses are cheaper than tram systems, pick up their power supply from overhead wires, have lower emissions and make less noise than standard buses.

The trolleybus network in Leeds was designed to replace the city's failed Supertram system, which was rejected as being too costly by the DfT in 2005.

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