Leeds has some of the most polluted air in Britain and the main cause of that is traffic. That air pollution causes asthma, breathing difficulties and even premature death – every year.
That’s why our local Labour Party Branches – in Weetwood and Heaadingley – are calling for a block of the money now available for transport spending to be dedicated to urgently reducing this problem.
Among the ideas which need urgent examination in our area are:
• a low-emission zone along the A660;
• working with operators to give us modern, low-pollution buses;
• modern ticketing systems for faster bus loading;
• controlling traffic to ensure public transport is always reliable.
Our Labour-led City Council has already started discussions on tackling these problems.
Following the government’s decision to turn down the proposed New Generation Transport [NGT] scheme for Leeds in May, the Labour Council has launched a major discussion of transport priorities in the city.
£173.5million of funding for the rejected scheme has been retained – and will now be available to invest in transport in the city.
There was a local Transport Summit held in June. And the Council has now opened that conversation up as widely as possible.
The Leader of Leeds City Council has invited everyone in the city to “join in the conversation” on the future of transport in Leeds.
As Judith Blake, Labour’s Leader of Leeds City Council, puts it:
“Transport is a fundamental issue that everyone in Leeds will have a view on as getting around our city and beyond is something we all do on a daily basis. So I want to invite everyone in the city to join in the conversation about what they think of transport in Leeds now and what we need to do in order to make it the best it can possibly be in future.
“Connectivity in terms of having an effective and integrated transport network is absolutely essential to the future growth of our city as an attractive place for people to live, work and visit. It is also crucial in encouraging businesses to want to invest here creating vital new jobs, so we need to listen to all views and ideas and then when decisions are made they must be the right ones for everyone in Leeds to benefit from.”
The broad conversation will consider all aspects of transport and its role in Leeds having a strong economy and being a compassionate and liveable city. The council’s Best City vision is for Leeds to be a fair, open and welcoming city with an economy that is both prosperous and sustainable with a transport system that helps all communities to be successful.
Leeds is also committed to being child friendly and improving air quality as well as boosting health and active lifestyles through encouraging safe cycling as a form of transport.
All this will be part of the debate.
The online survey can be filled in at http://www.leeds.gov.uk/transportconversation
The survey is now live and will run until September 20.
The conversation can also be held on Twitter using the hashtag #Leedstransport.
You can access the survey online in all council libraries and one-stop centres.
You can send views by email to Leedstransport@leeds.gov.uk.
Background information including the current vision for transport in Leeds can be seen via the webpages at http://www.leeds.gov.uk/transportconversation.
Locally the Labour Party, with hundreds of concerned members in the area, sees this as a high priority and a great opportunity.
If you live in Headingley or Weetwood, contact us with your views: you can email us at labour.Weetwood.Headingley@gmail.com
We will be listening to and working with the community to find effective, short- and long-term solutions.
Have your say – and let’s work together.