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The Tramlink at 10

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Steve Phillips Steve Phillips | 11:40 UK time, Tuesday, 18 May 2010

July 6th 1952. As the last tram rolled into New Cross depot, Lord Latham, head of the London Transport Executive (LTE), proclaimed "Goodbye old tram."

A piece of London heritage disappeared for 48 years.

Fast forward to 2000, and trams were out again, this time in Croydon with a service linking to Beckenham, New Addington and Wimbledon. And now it's ten years old.


As a former user, I found it great for getting to Croydon from Wimbledon - which luckily was the route. Are you a regular trammer? Has it made your journeys around South London that much easier?

More trams anyone?

So why has the tram's London renaissance stopped with Croydon?

Certainly, there have been projects ongoing that haven't made it off the drawing board - notably in West London, along the Uxbridge Road and the Cross River Tram which would travel between Camden and Peckham/Brixton.

Transport for London told me what happened on the West London Tram Extension (along the Uxbridge Road, between Uxbridge and Shepherd's Bush).

"[It] was actually cancelled under Ken Livingstone's administration, simply because it became apparent that Crossrail, if approved, would effectively replicate its route.

So it seemed a waste of public money to develop, build and then find no one would use it because they could let the train take the strain."

As to the Cross River Tram...

"Put simply TfL just did not have at its disposal the £1.3 billion necessary to build it, and it is extremely unlikely that the private sector would be willing to fund the project in the current climate. We really don't see that situation changing quickly."

... the Cross River Partnership's, website is very much alive and they're living in hope that it'll be "hello new tram."


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