Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Leeds Trolleybus Enquiry Day 29

Leeds Trolleybus Enquiry Day 29

June 24 2014

Day 29 saw the completion by Professor Peter Bonsall of his marathon  cross examination of Mr Neil Chadwick who is responsible for the NGT business case.  In the sessions following cross examinations were made by representatives of The Federation of Small Businesses, Weetwood Residents (affiliated to the North West Leeds Transport Forum, and West Park Resident’s Association) as well as private objector Mr Malcolm Bell.

Here are the links for audio recordings of the day’s sessions, and commentary follows below.

In the first morning session of day 29 of the Trolleybus Public Enquiry, June 24 2014, Professor Peter Bonsall continues with his cross examination of Mr Neil Chadwick on the business case for NGT.

In the late morning session of day 29 of the Trolleybus Public Enquiry, June 24 2014, Professor Peter Bonsall concludes his cross examination of Mr Neil Chadwick on the business case for NGT.

In the early afternoon session of day 29 of the Trolleybus Public Enquiry June 24 2014, Chris Longley of the Federation of Small Businesses cross examines Mr Neil Chadwick on the impact of the implementation of the NGT scheme on small businesses along the route.

In the late afternoon session of day 29 of the Leeds Trolleybus Public Enquiry, June 24, 2014, several objectors cross examine Mr Neil Chadwick on the business case for the NGT trolleybus.

As I am rather pressed for time this evening I shall pass you over to Chris Todd whose comments I have availed myself of previously.


In his evidence Neil Chadwick was rather coy about his role in the Edinburgh tram fiasco, but see the attached upbeat comments he made in The Scotsman on October 20, 2001 . His firm was at the centre, when it came to selling the project.

[This is frightening ~ C]

Like Claire, I do wish Mr Chadwick would use the conditional “would” rather than the future “will” to describe what should happen after the inquiry. By using the future tense, he suggesting perhaps unwittingly that there can be no doubt that NGT will get a favorable decision from the minister.

After a rather unreal discussion of train passengers wanting to move to NGT, simply because a trolleybus was perceived as superior to a train – an assertion apparently made by Mott MacDonald, and from which Mr Chadwick was anxious to dissociate himself – he repeatedly stressed that “a whole raft of things of things will change” once the minister has (sic) approved the scheme and the promoter then makes an application for conditional approval. If various important matters had not yet been tested properly, this will be done so then, but, apparently, this is fine and everything is generally in order since the DFT approved programme entry. If such important work still remains to be done, and there are further changes to be brought it, one wonders just how much the scheme will finally resemble what was in theory the subject of public consultation, let alone a public inquiry.

It is now clear that they are counting on an annual surplus to cover the cost of the scheme (maintenance and renewal, etc.). So the local tax payer will be just an vulnerable there, as in the construction of the scheme itself. Mr Chadwick said this was what happened in Manchester . Does any one know what happens in Sheffield and Nottingham where the tram schemes are both running at a loss?

Towards the end of the exhaustive questioning by Peter Bonsall, Neil Chadwick remarked that there was much more discussion of detail here than he had seen in other inquiries. It makes one wonder what they have been getting away with elsewhere!

In yesterday’s Yorkshire Post, there was a article and a video interview with councillor Richard Lewis on the new Park and Ride at Elland Road , and the one planned for the Aire valley

Apparently, the Elland Road site “had a slow start to life, with just 30 or so of its spaces filled at one stage”. No mention, of course, of why these schemes might fail (unofficial park and ride in our streets, or the over-abundance of city-centre parking spaces, etc.). I checked the TomTom this evening, and there seems to be just as much congestion on the roads to the motorways as ever.

Why do our local media all too often sound like mere outlets for council propaganda. Still nothing on the inquiry since April 29. The Yorkshire Post article simply ends “Two more park-and-rides will be constructed at Lawnswood and Stourton if Leeds 's trolleybus system wins approval.”

Prof Chris Todd


Am I alone in thinking about all the failed banks which have been bailed out by governments when I read the article about SDG and Mott MacDonald and think about the nightmare that they were responsible for inflicting on Edinburgh?  How can these companies continue to be used when they have manifestly failed?  And yet they come back in another attempt to suck our cities dry of funds while destroying them.  Is this mere incompetence, both on the part of these consultancies, and the city councils who so mistakenly have followed their Pied Piper tune, or are they deliberately taking gullible cities for a ride on their disastrous plans?  

The roads and transport lobbies will do anything to persuade us we need them ~ remember that both Councillors Lewis have admitted that this is '90% a roads scheme' ~ so the lie about this being a public transport scheme is transparent.

They have in the past suckered their marks through their beguiling spin, but now that they are being closely examined the sham and shambolic nature of their plans is being exposed and we do not have to buy their snake oil.  CC

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