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Leeds

NGT trolleybus system gets a step closer as business leaders signal their support


Leeds, 19 September 2013 - ​Leading business figures and developers of some of Leeds’ key schemes have backed the £250 million New Generation Transport (NGT) system, describing the proposed trolleybus network as “critical” to the future success and development of the city.

NGTWith the Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) submission scheduled for September, Hammerson’s, developer of the Victoria Gate retail scheme, Jones Lang LaSalle, which acts on some of the most prestigious commercial property schemes in Leeds, Allied London, Leeds Civic Trust and SMG, operators of the First Direct Arena, have all voiced their support.

Jeff Pearey, lead director at Jones Lang LaSalle, said: “The lack of an integrated transport system has held back Leeds from maximising its economic potential. NGT is the key to helping it unlock that potential for the future. It will deliver a range of financial benefits to the local economy, creating jobs and providing more people with easier access to the city centre.”

The TWAO will grant Metro and Leeds City Council the powers they need to commission, build and operate the 14km trolleybus system running through the city centre from Holt Park in North Leeds and Stourton in South Leeds.

Joe Swindells, Hammerson’s project director for Victoria Gate, commented: “We believe that the delivery of NGT is critical to the success and development of Leeds. The high-end retail brands that we will bring to the city need to see that Leeds has a clear vision for the future, encompassing the short, medium and long-term, as well as the city’s commitment to a high-quality, pedestrian-friendly shopping environment.”

Ben Williams, general manager at the first direct Arena, added: “The first direct Arena is set to become a major attraction for Leeds, drawing in audiences from across the wider region and the UK, as well as from the city itself.

“Modern transport connections are going to be key to its successful operation. NGT offers the ideal solution, providing improved access to the city centre and its leisure attractions, but integrating this with the wider transport network and through extensive park and ride facilities. It will add significantly to the attractiveness of Leeds as a place to visit, enabling people to travel in comfort and avoid congestion as they arrive and leave the city centre."

These latest shows of support follow recent statements from Allied London, owner of New Dock, and Leeds Civic Trust. Chief Executive of Allied London, Mike Ingall stated NGT will drive a new wave of development helping Leeds to evolve as a holistic city, while Kevin Grady director of Leeds Civic Trust said it is in the best interest of the city as a whole that the scheme is implemented.

The TWAO submission is the first stage in gaining the legal approval the city needs to construct and operate a trolleybus system. This is likely to be followed by a public inquiry next spring.

One of the city’s key transformational projects, New Generation Transport is at the heart of creating an integrated transport network for Leeds to support the city’s future development. At an investment level of £250 million, it is one of the largest investments in transport infrastructure in the UK outside London.

The first line will run from Holt Park in the North of the city to Stourton in the South, with the possibility of a second and third extension being planned. The extensions will travel to St James’s University Hospital and the new Aire Valley Leeds Enterprise Zone to the South East of the city centre.

More information on NGT along with all the latest information about the project can be found on the project website at www.ngtmetro.com and by following @ngttrolleybus on Twitter or on Facebook at New Generation Transport. People can also contact the project team on 0113 251 7421 or at ngtinfo@wypte.gov.uk.