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Like all other organisations Metro and the ITA face difficult
times as the Government's financial recovery measures take effect,
he said after the meeting, but investment in job-creating transport
schemes would help to grow the local and national economy out of
"Transport schemes such as the planned NGT trolleybus network in
Leeds, new rail stations, Castleford Interchange and the new
southern entrance at Leeds station will all help contribute to the
creation of local jobs," said Cllr Greaves.
"Putting these schemes on hold jeopardises substantial amounts
of public money that the Department for Transport has encouraged us
to spend developing them and also the substantial private sector
funding that has been secured for schemes such as Kirkstall Forge
"We have called for a meeting with Ministers to discuss the
spending review's effect on the development of our projects and to
stress how the NGT scheme represents value-for-money in supporting
the Leeds City Region's economic recovery and future growth.
"We will also be stressing that there had been a history of
underspending on transport in our region from successive
Governments and that making any cuts less hard-hitting here would
be an opportunity for the Government to start redressing that
legacy," added Cllr Greaves.
"We will also point out that the 4,000 new jobs that will result
from the NGT trolleybus network will be created at a fraction of
the cost of those that will be created by Crossrail in London."
Cllr Greaves echoed the outgoing Chairman
Cllr Downes' reaction to this week's budget announcement saying
that if the Government plans to give priority to projects that
provide a 'significant economic return to the country' and that
'have the greatest impact on innovation and jobs', he couldn't see
the Government blocking the NGT trolleybus scheme. 'Councillor Downes responds to Budget announcement'
The Department for Transport had already acknowledged, he said,
what the NGT scheme would achieve, including the creation of 4,000
long-term jobs, and help grow the local economy out of
He added that the new southern entrance to Leeds Station had
also met Department for Transport requirements and a £4m
private sector contribution to the cost of building vital new
stations at Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge.
Quality Bus Contracts, which would result in the London-style
franchising of bus services, were still an aim for the ITA, said
Councillor Greaves, despite the potential costs of setting them
"We have to remember that we work on behalf of public transport
users across West Yorkshire and they have repeatedly been let down
by the current system which leaves bus operators free to change
routes, withdraw services and hike up prices at will," he said.
"We owe it to local people either to secure clear and binding
voluntary agreements with the bus operators, which set out the
levels of service passengers can expect and the fares they are
going to pay, or to proceed to Quality Contracts where we set the
standards and the operators bid to run services."
Addressing the issue of Metro's response to potential budget
cuts, Cllr Greaves said Metro was already about the most efficient
of the PTEs.
"Independent research shows we do what we do in West Yorkshire
as well as, or better, than the PTEs for the other metropolitan
areas, but we do it with fewer staff, at a lower cost, with lower
sickness rates and with higher customer satisfaction levels," he
"Despite this we are reviewing all vacancies to see if they
absolutely need to be filled to enable us to meet levels of service
our customers expect, and we have introduced a voluntary redundancy
scheme, both of which will achieve further savings."
Cllr Greaves ended by thanking Metro staff for their hard work,
efficiency and the savings they had already made and said he was
confident that he and his ITA colleagues of all parties would
strive to make a convincing case for the continued investment in
West Yorkshire's transport network.