But it is here, on the fifth floor of 2 Wellington Place, in a room without windows, where the future course of transport in the city is quietly being charted. The room is the venue for the public inquiry that will decide the fate of the hugely-controversial Leeds trolleybus scheme.
On one side are the £250m New Generation Transport (NGT) project’s co-promoters, Leeds City Council and the recently-formed West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), which includes what was Metro, the county’s passenger transport authority.
Lining up against them is a wide range of objectors, from transport giant and local bus operator First to community groups such as the Friends of Woodhouse Moor.
The three part proposal includes introducing the new bus, introducing smart card ticketing similar to the Oyster card used in London and working with our partners to unblock hold-ups by tackling congestion hot spots where changes to road layouts and traffic signals could reduce delays.
The combination of multi entry and exit points on the new bus and touch card ticketing would greatly speed up boarding and exiting so cutting journey times. The buses will have the most technologically advanced hybrid, fuel efficient engines which will reduce CO2 emissions by nearly half over standard diesel buses.
As First’s Head of Commercial, Paul Turner explains: We want to test the reaction of people across West Yorkshire to the package of measures we are proposing which we believe could radically transform public transport in West Yorkshire. Over the coming weeks we will be consulting with politicians, businesses and the public to gain their views.”
Opinions on the Borismaster are divided, but the engineers, those who have to make them go each day, are reportedly all privately of the view that the bus us a disaster. They cost a small fortune to buy, nay a large fortune; they are less reliable that "normal" buses and they cost another small fortune to run. When London has finished with them, it looks as if no other bus operator will touch them with the proverbial barge pole.
But if you are going to run these horrors in Leeds, First, at least paint them in a more appropriate livery!