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'Packed out' event brings community led transport solutions

Residents gathered in Otley on Thursday night to take part in Alex Sobel’s transport event.

A packed-out room at the Philip Coyne Labour Rooms heard statements from local politicians including their Labour MP, Alex Sobel, as well as former Lib Dem leader of Otley Town Council, Ray Georgeson and Green Town Councillor Mick Bradley. There were also speeches from representatives of First Bus, Northern Trains and WYCA.

Using the four principals from Alex’s recent transport strategy, residents, politicians and transport leaders then sat together in groups to discuss ideas for transforming Otley’s local transport networks.

Alex has brought forward a transport strategy for Leeds North West.

Ideas big and small, practical and aspirational were discussed from better connections to Menston Station and electric bike schemes to pedestrianisation and bringing rail back to Otley.

Many residents raised concerns about the quality of the bus service. This was also raised by Mr Sobel and was responded to by the representatives of First Bus. Alex has had several public meetings where residents have put their concerns directly to First and has brought constituents up to the depot to raise their issues directly with company bosses.

Alex said “I am delighted that so many people came to the event and the positive and constructive atmosphere that was created in the room. Our community led plan for transport can only work if we all work together for the same goal. That’s why I was delighted to be joined by representatives from other political parties. I will work with anyone and everyone to achieve the large-scale transformation that we need not just to get people moving, but to improve public health, build up our local economy, and to ensure the future of our planet.”

Shannon Coles, who is heavily involved with the Otley 2030 campaign chaired the meeting. She said “It was wonderful to see so many people there, sharing constructive ideas and pulling together in the interests of our town and our environment. This event was not about being preached at but a real opportunity for Otley’s people to put forward ideas to improve transport and to work together to achieve them.”


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