City's traffic chaos to be eased by 5.8m pounds bus project

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The Independent Online
LEEDS is launching a multi-million-pound scheme to entice motorists to abandon their cars and take a bus in an effort to solve the early morning traffic chaos, it was disclosed yesterday, writes Malcolm Pithers.

About 75,000 people a day commute into Leeds and most use their own vehicles. By 2000 the city's transport chiefs believe their roads will be blocked up to '100 per cent capacity' unless a solution is found.

The scheme, which has never been tried in the UK, will allow converted buses to move in and out of newly constructed 'corridors' in the middle of roads to avoid traffic jams and cut their journey times by half. The Government has given pounds 2m towards the city's pounds 5.8m plan, which may be copied by other cities.

Leeds, celebrating the centenary of its city charter, is attracting considerable inward investment, with companies judging that it will be one of the strongest financial bases when the recession ends. But this prosperity has brought a dramatic rise in traffic.

The bus system is new to Britain but similar operations in Germany and Australia have been studied and the best points have been incorporated into the Leeds scheme. Yesterday, the city council opened its test track to show how the system works.