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June 2007

Supertram petition

Over 1,000 people have so far signed a petition on the Prime Minister's website demanding funding be made available for the Leeds Supertram project.

Considerable anger was generated when the then Transport Secretary Alistair Darling cancelled the project in November 2005.

The petition states:
Leeds Supertram was cancelled by Alistair Darling in 2005. Despite the go-ahead being given to the £20bn crossrail project in London ontop of London's existing developed transport network, the £500m supertram was cancelled for being "too expensive". Leeds remains Europe's largest city without a Metro, Light Rail, Tram or Underground system, and also one of the UK's most congested cities (far more so than that of the other main cities of Birmingham, Glasgow and Sheffield).

The petition can be found at

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November 2004

Supertram, it adds up for Leeds:

Transport bosses in Leeds revealed that they have been able to cut GBP1/4bn from the costs of the city’s planned Supertram Scheme. At a special briefing representatives of the city’s commercial and civic sector heard that Metro and the City Council have revised the financial structure of the scheme and are confident they can bring its costs very close to the £355m originally pledged by the Government in 2001.

Metro Director General Kieran Preston explained that the savings had been achieved by finding new technical solutions to certain engineering problems, by postponing construction of a 7km stretch of the network and by a more appropriate approach to the share of the scheme’s operating risks.

“Revisiting the way we approach some of the engineering work, particularly relating to utilities, postponing a section of the south line and creating a better balance of risk sharing between the successful bidder, the promoters and the Department for Transport for the operation of the tram system, has enabled us to cut the bids significantly,” said Mr Preston.

Leeds politicians and transport bosses will now be pressing for a meeting with Transport Minister Alistair Darling and Department for Transport officials to discuss how the revised bid is taken forward.

Further information including an email form to express support can be found on the Leeds Metro website

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July 2004


In early July, Alistair Darling announced as part of the Government’s 10-Year Transport Plan that Leeds Supertram was unaffordable at a cost of over £500m, confirming what he had already told city leaders at a meeting in January.

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4 March 2003

First phase of roadworks to commence: Advance construction on the first phase of roadworks for Leeds Supertram, the largest single engineering project ever undertaken in Leeds, starts Monday 10 March on the A61 Hunslet Road.

Cllr Brian Walker, Leader of Leeds City Council and Metro Chairman Cllr Mick Lyons, will be present at 9.30am on Monday 10 March at the site, to mark the beginning of this huge and eagerly anticipated project.

The main purpose of these first roadworks, from just past Forster Street to just past South Accommodation Road, is to create a separate space that will later be used to enable Leeds Supertram to run alongside the existing eastbound carriageway of the A61-Hunslet Road. This will reduce future disruption when the tram tracks are laid.

A roadworks telephone hotline is available and a detailed leaflet about the roadworks has been widely distributed to homes, organisations and businesses in the area.

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10 July 2002

Leeds Tramlink, the consortium formed by Amey, Bechtel MTR and Egis Sealy, to bid to design, construct, part-finance and operate Leeds Supertram is no longer in the running for the project.

Metro Chairman Councillor Mick Lyons said that they had been given no option but to drop the Leeds Tramlink consortium due to unrealistic demands being made by the companies backing the bid.

Although the Supertram Team provided full details of the bidding process to each consortium which expressed an interest, the companies involved in Leeds Tramlink have indicated to Metro that it wanted full Government compensation if it incurred the cost of putting in a bid for the project and was unsuccessful. Supertram Project Director Mick Martin said that even if they agreed with the consortium's demands, it was not something which was in their power to grant.

The remaining consortia are Airelink, which includes Arriva Passenger Services Ltd and Siemens Transportation Systems Ltd, and Momentis, which brings together, FirstGroup plc, Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd, Bouygues TP and Jarvis Facilities Ltd.

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8 May 2002

Leeds Tramways Ltd, one of the consortia developing detailed proposals for the Leeds Supertram scheme has informed Metro, the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, that it is reluctantly withdrawing due to a lack of resources to deliver the project.

Leeds Tramways Ltd was formed jointly by Stagecoach Group plc, John Mowlem & Company PLC and WS Atkins Investments Ltd and was one of the four consortia being asked to develop more detailed proposals for the scheme. (see entry for 30 April)

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30 April 2002

People in Hunslet were invited to take virtual tram rides at the first Leeds Supertram Roadshow last week.

Visitors to the Supertram Travelling Information Centre were also be able to meet members of the Supertram team and find out the latest developments on the scheme. They were also be able to see and hear what travelling on Supertram will be like by taking a computer-generated 'virtual' tram-ride.

Over the next seven weeks the Roadshow will be visiting venues along the three Supertram routes. It will be in Middleton on Wednesday 1 May (5.00pm - 8.00pm), Friday 3 May (10.00am - 4.00pm) and Saturday 4 May (10.00am -1.00pm) and then go to Headingley, Hyde Park, Seacroft, Briggate in the city centre, and the Thackray Medical Museum in coming weeks.

Supertram Access Group

Leeds City Council's Equal Opportunities Unit has been looking to recruit eight disabled people who live in the Leeds area for the Supertram Access Group to assist with forthcoming consultations.

15 March 2002

Final Four Leeds Supertram Consortia Announced

Following Pre Qualification Interviews held last week by the Leeds Supertram Board, Metro has approved four bidders for the c.GBP500m project to design, build maintain, operate, and part finance the city’s 28km tram network.

Representing around 40 of the world’s leading transport, design, engineering and finance companies, the four shortlisted consortia which Metro has asked to develop more detailed proposals are Airelink, Leeds Tram Link, Leeds Tramways Ltd and Momentis.

"I am thrilled that Metro has attracted these world-class organisations as partners in the development of the Leeds Supertram Scheme," said Metro Chairman Mick Lyons.

"The long and thorough selection process began last July when Metro hosted an open day for 100 companies from across Europe and beyond. From the four consortia announced today, two final contenders, will each be asked to submit their best and final offer by the end of 2002 with the formal contract due to be awarded by summer 2003."

Councillor Brian Walker, Leader of Leeds City Council said, "I have had a long involvement with the Supertram project, which began when I launched the Council’s Transport Strategy back in 1991. I welcome the announcement of this next important step forward in the development of the scheme, which is progressing according to our planned schedule."

Brian Staples, Chief Executive of Amey plc said on behalf of Leeds Tramlink, "Having successfully developed the Croydon Tramlink system, we are committed to bringing our experience to bear upon this major opportunity for the benefit of Leeds public transport. We believe that the system will be hugely successful."

Andy Pitt, Business Development Director - Stagecoach, said "Leeds Tramways Ltd is delighted to have been shortlisted to tender for this most important Light Rail Project. Leeds Tramways Limited now looks forward to the tendering process which will give it the opportunity to submit proposals to provide the people of Leeds and its visitors with a world class tram service. "

Momentis’ Chairman, Nick Chevis said "Momentis would be delighted to participate in this exciting project. We would provide a public transport system that is safe, frequent, modern, clean and reliable and that will complement the existing public transport services."

Tony Depledge who chairs the Airelink consortium said: "Airelink is pleased and encouraged by this pre-qualification. The consortium already employs over 4,000 people in West Yorkshire and would be delighted to work with Metro and Leeds City Council towards improved public transport solutions for the benefit of the people of Leeds."

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