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DfT replace Minister making NGT decision

September 30, 2015 4:10 PM

Following Greg Mulholland MP raising concerns about Robert Goodwill's role in making the final decision on the NGT Trolleybus scheme, the Department for Transport has replaced the minister with Lord Ahmad.

Mr Mulholland had raised concerns with Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport after it emerged that Mr Goodwill made comments in 2009 at the Parliamentary Yorkshire and Humber Regional Grand Committee, supporting the NGT Scheme.

Talking about the then Labour Government Mr Goodwill stated,

"That is money down the drain because of the inability of the Government to deliver the funding for a project that they encouraged Leeds city council to go ahead with. Leeds is now looking at-I hope it will go forward with this-a trolley bus scheme."

August 2015, blankFollowing Mr Mulholland's intervention, Mr McLoughlin has now confirmed that the final decision will instead be made by Lord Ahmad to avoid "even the appearance of bias".

Mr Mulholland had also again queried whether the Government would confirm that the funding for the NGT scheme would be made available for alternative proposals, should the Department reject the Trolleybus. In response Mr McLoughlin has stated that Ministers would have to consider whether to make the earmarked funding available for a different scheme.

Commenting Greg Mulholland said:

"I am pleased that the Department have taken this decision, as it was clear that many local residents were understandably concerned about the comments Mr Goodwill had previously made, and it is vitally important that whatever decision the Government reach is beyond questions of bias.

"I hope that the right decision will now be made for Leeds, and that we will be allowed to spend this money on a scheme that is the best option for the city.

"I also welcome the fact that Ministers now appear to be indicating that they are prepared to consider funding alternative schemes, which is something I have been calling for, rather than simply say yes or no to NGT. Leeds shouldn't be forced to have a second best scheme, but equally Leeds must not be left with nothing."