Congestion solving plan rejected

THE Department for Transport has refused to back a £31 million scheme designed to improve public transport throughout West Yorkshire.

The “Getting Transport to Work” plan was designed to reduce congestion, connect people with jobs and help them to make sustainable travel choices.

It was focused on major towns and cities where 41 per cent of jobs and the largest travel destinations such as retail centres, universities and colleges, and hospitals are located.

Metro chairman James Lewis said failure to attract support from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund has not been shortlisted was a blow to local economic recovery.

“It would have supported economic growth across West Yorkshire by reducing the cost of congestion on our businesses and by connecting people and job opportunities,” said Coun Lewis.

“It would also have helped to reduce carbon emissions by providing people with practical information about using low-carbon means of travel, including cycling and walking, to travel to and from work.”

Of the schemes that have been given firm acceptance and invited to submit a full business case, only one – on Merseyside - is in the north.

Councillor Lewis said Metro would be asking Department of Transport officials to explain the reasoning behind their decision.