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Darling turns down Leeds Supertram

Saying "The value today is £486m - compared with the approved figure in 2001 of £355m. "Clearly it does not represent the best value for money for the people of Leeds or the best use of public money." The Transport Minister Alistair Darling indicated that he would not give the go-ahead to Leeds Supertram.

In response Metro Chairman Cllr Karam Hussain said, “This is a disgraceful decision which reflects the Government’s lack of any clear policy on transport or on the development of the cities and regions outside London and the south east. “What is the point of the Government publishing grand strategies such as its ‘Northern Way’, which claims to be a strategic plan to increase investment and economic drive across the north and which cites Supertram as an important element, and then turning the scheme down like this?

Andrew Carter, deputy leader of Leeds City Council, is reported as saying "This government has let down the people of Leeds and this council in a way that no government has ever let down an area of the country before," he said.
"It was they who encouraged us to move ahead with Supertram, it was them who put £350m on the table and it is them who have destroyed the scheme.
"I know that there are people who do not support the Supertram scheme.
"However, everybody in Leeds should unite in saying that the delays caused by the government are absolutely unforgivable."

3 November 2005

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