Friday, June 08, 2007

Son of Supertram

After the abject failure of central government to put their money where their mouths were (in 2001) last year with regards to the Leeds Supertram public rapid transit scheme, West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive are now investigating the viability of a combination tram/train scheme which would run on roughly the same routes as the proposed supertram would have.

What a load of bollacks.

John Prescotts department gave the go-ahead for the £500million supertram scheme back in 2001 and then dramatically got cold feet last year when the WYPTE asked for the £500mill to start the scheme - £40million had been wasted on planning and compulsory purchase orders up to that point, £40mill that we ratepayers had to fork out.

The new scheme has a rough, finger in the wind estimate of £300million but of course its all conjecture at the moment, we'll have another ten years of planning and compulsory purchase orders and another £40 or £50 million in costs for the ratepayers until sometime way in the future another government minister will have to make some budget cuts from somewhere to finance another war or build a new rail link in the south east of the country and he'll pull the plug from Leeds again - except in ten years time the numbers will be even more impressive than they are now.

The new scheme sounds remarkably like the old scheme and it does make you wonder why, when Prescot stated that he couldn't afford £500mill (after saying that he could for five years) that the WYPTE didn't immediately pull the new scheme from their briefcases and say "well we've got this one Minister, its a bit cheaper and its almost the same, give us a cheque now and we'll say no more"

Thats how it would work if I were bidding for public expenditure in the city, it would also involve pinning the Minister up against the wall by his shirt collar, but thats another story.


In other local news an 18 year old was convicted yesterday of 33 offences of graffiti on rail carriages in West Yorkshire and given a three year ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) which basically means that the rest of us can point at him in the street and chant "asbo, asbo, asbo" in order to shame and embarass him - as far as I can tell that is about the only purpose that ASBO's serve.

He was also banned from being in possesion of spray paint and marker pens (yeah, thats going to work), and ordered to pay compensation tot he rail authorities who priced up the cleaning up operation at £60,000, so yes, I'm sure that the unemployed 18 year old will probably have that repaid in rapid time too.

Maybe the pointing and chanting "asbo" has some mileage in it after all.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Oh goody, another transport initiative - wooohoooo! ;)

I'll eventually get aroudn to telling my tales of woe using public transport in Leeds this week.