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Better buses in Leeds approved – but no plans for trams

By Matthew Brannen

COUNCIL LEADERS today approved a £173.5 million Public Transport Investment Programme which promises better buses – but no mass transit system anytime soon.

The plan aims to improve the bus network and add rail stations at three key growth locations.

Leeds City Council leaders said the plans were ambitious and promised 284 new low emission buses as part of an agreement with First Bus.

Cllr Richard Lewis, leader on transport, insisted the new buses will have similar emissions to his diesel Passat.

“Several hundred premature deaths occur in Leeds because of poor air quality,” Cllr Lewis said.

Opposition party leaders who sit on the Executive Board refused to support the proposals.

In response to First Bus’ promise to run more regular better services, Cllr Anderson (Cons) said: “First Bus has failed, can we count on them not to fail all over again?”

Liberal Democrat leader on Leeds City Council, Cllr Stewart Golton, expressed concern at the speed the new proposals had been brought forward and expressed his concern they had not received proper scrutiny.

One of the major ambitions outlined by the programme is to double bus use in the city by 2027.

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