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Plan for city trolleybus comeback

15 June 07 16:10 GMT

Plans for the UK's first trolleybus system in 35 years have been given the go-ahead in West Yorkshire.

Public transport provider Metro wants to build a £300m electric bus network in Leeds city centre, to replace the city's failed supertram scheme.

Leeds was one of the first UK cities to operate trolleybuses. Bradford was the last, closing its system in 1972.

The scheme secured the financial backing of the Regional Transport Board at a meeting in Sheffield on Friday.

If given approval by the Deparment for Transport, work on the scheme will start in 2010, to be completed by 2011/12.

The trolleybuses would follow a city centre loop, as well as a north route through Headingley and a south route to Stourton.

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

The system Metro wants to use is similar to the one in Lyon, France.

Metro director Kieran Preston said: "Gaining the Regional Transport Board's financial backing is a huge step forward in our plans to develop what will be the UK's first new trolleybus system in Leeds.

"It means we have an agreed funding source, which combined with the DfT's acceptance of our business case could mean that people will be riding on state-of-the-art trolleybuses by 2011.

Almost £40m was spent on the Leeds Supertram plans before they were rejected as being too costly by the Department of Transport in November 2005.

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