Today felt like a good day for the Stop The Trolleybus campaign. The Inquiry got down to business with the cross examination of the first witness, Mr Martin Farrington, Chief Development Officer for Leeds City Council who has taken a major role in the development and promotion of the Applicant’s scheme, New Generation Transport trolleybuses.
Gregory Jones QC for First West Yorkshire tore into Mr Farrington and elicited such extraordinary pieces of information as that when he took up his current post and began to promote a trolleybus scheme, he had never actually reviewed the pros and cons of the Supertram which had been cancelled a few years before, or that he had only found out yesterday about the 1999 Liverpool Public Inquiry into what had been a proposal for a trolleybus development there, but which had been rejected by the Inspector and the then Secretary of State. (I had heard about that perhaps a year ago.)
The Cross examination went on for most of the day but the first session was the most impressive. It can be heard on this recording which a colleague kindly made on my Zoom H2 audio recorder.
Exposed and highlighted were the facts that this would be the only trolleybus scheme in England and the only right hand drive one in the world, suggesting major problems for future supply of parts and vehicles, and that it was projected as having a lifetime of at least sixty years, or more.