18 June 2010
Cllr Chris Greaves told BBC Radio 4's You & Yours programme that each job created by the planned Leeds trolleybus network would cost just £60,000 compared with the £1/2 million cost of every job created by the London Crossrail project.
And just 1.5% shaved off the cost of the £16bn Crossrail scheme, which he described as yet another way for people to get across London in addition to the existing tube, rail, buses and light rail systems, would he said meet the cost of the Leeds trolleybus scheme.
Cllr Greaves appeared on the Radio 4 programme on Thursday 17 June as part of a discussion on whether too large a proportion of the Government's planned transport spending cuts would be targeted outside London while the capital's transport projects escaped unscathed.
He confirmed that Government spending on transport was £30 per head less in the Yorkshire and Humber region than other areas such as the North West, and between a third and a quarter of what is spent per person in London.
When asked if it was not right that significantly more should be spent on the capital's transport because London is the engine room of the country he warned that there was a danger that the engine room was over-heating while in the north there was danger the deck hands were freezing.
Cllr Greaves also pointed out that when asked about Regional Development Agency cuts in May, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said: that some regions including Yorkshire should have preferential treatment, "because we recognise the areas have structural problems and need more attention".
Metro has made clear that any cuts in transport spending announced in the autumn after the new Government's spending review should be less hard-hitting in Yorkshire than in other areas, where per capita spending on transport schemes has been much higher. Chairman Cllr Ryk Downes described it as an opportunity for the new Government to end a legacy of transport underspending in our region.
Cllr Greaves told You & Yours that Metro and Leeds City Council would work with West Yorkshire MPs to secure the future of the NGT trolleybus network and other transport schemes such as new rail stations, Castleford Interchange and the southern entrance for Leeds Station.
Frustration at major projects delay