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• Union body says West Yorkshire can’t wait till 2030s, and urges council leaders to fast track project
• Priority should be creating new, green jobs through local procurement
• Urgent action needed to support economy as ONS data shows a 23% increase in quarterly unemployment for region
• Conservative MPs need to step up and demand more funding from the Chancellor

Commenting on the launch today (Wednesday) of the West Yorkshire Mass Transit vision 2040, TUC Regional Secretary Bill Adams said:  

“Investing in public transport is the best way for us to build back better from the pandemic. We welcome the news of the proposed tram network. Council leaders are staking out a bold case for a modern, green future economy.

“But we cannot wait till the late 2030s to break ground on this project. A region wide infrastructure programme has the potential to create thousands of skilled, green, union jobs in engineering and construction, and support many more local businesses in the supply chain.

“We need this project to happen much, much quicker, to support West Yorkshire’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And we need to see the proposed tram network reach every town and city in our region. A new tram line in every town would make our journeys quicker, open up jobs, reduce local pollution, and bring investment to our community.

“We can’t leave key towns and cities waiting until the 2030s before the tram reaches their communities. Under the current plans towns miss out and passengers get left behind.

“I call on council leaders in West Yorkshire to reconsider this timeline and fast track a project which could deliver high quality jobs and economic growth to our region much sooner than planned.”

On funding, Bill Adams said:

“We applaud council leaders for taking a bold step towards a 21st century public transport network for West Yorkshire. Now we need government to keep its promise to level up the North.

“This is the most urgent and important infrastructure programme for our region. If government is really committed to levelling up West Yorkshire’s economy, and fighting climate change, then they need to commit more money to accelerate this project.

“A fully funded, fast tracked mass transit project will support local bus and rail manufacturing, creating jobs and opportunities for the communities in Yorkshire that need it most.

“We need to see West Yorkshire’s Tory MPs demand more funding from the government to jump start the mass transit project. If they won’t step up now, are they really committed to levelling up our region?”


Editors note

- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.


Gareth Forest (Lewis)
0113 200 1075
07810 374976

TUC national press office  
020 7467 1248 

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