More TramTrain news (though a wee bit old) from the UK.
Tram plan on track?
Friday 16th July 2004
By Simeon Brody
The prospect of electric trams gliding through the streets of Kingston may now be one step closer with the launch of a new lobby group.
South London Trams will campaign for a rapid transit line from the M25 to Kingston town centre, with links to Merton and Sutton.
Although a detailed route has not been decided, it is hoped the tram system, dubbed K-Smart, would start at a proposed park-and-ride site at the M25 in Leatherhead. It would then travel through Chessington and Tolworth, to Kingston.
A second line would travel from the town centre through New Malden and Worcester Park before arriving at Sutton.
The new group, led by the South London Partnership, a coalition of seven south-west London authorities, including Kingston, will also push for an extension of Croydon’s Tramlink to Sutton.
The group believes trams will encourage regeneration, boost the number of shoppers, and help with London’s Olympic bid.
David Cockle, managing director of Leewood Projects Limited, which helped bring trams to Croydon and worked on the Metrolink in Manchester, has been involved in developing the Kingston scheme.
He hopes some sort of system could be up and running by the Olympics in 2012, but admitted it was still a long shot.
The idea of a Kingston tram system was first aired in 2002 with an estimated cost of £436million. Most of the money is likely to have to come from Transport for London (TfL).
A TfL spokesman did not appear to offer much encouragement to the scheme, saying Kingston had seen an improvement in its bus and train services.
He said: “TfL also supports Crossrail, which will be a major transport link in London and that will directly serve Kingston, but this is dependent on additional funding by the Government.
“We understand all parts of London have a need for additional transport, but we have limited funds and need to spend them where they will make the most improvement.”
South London Trams is chaired by Kingston Council’s chief executive Bruce McDonald, who spoke at the group’s recent launch.
He said: “Tramlink has brought transport, economic, regenerative and environmental benefits to the whole of the community in the south London area, increasing access, attracting new development and contributing to significant reductions in unemployment in areas that it serves.
“It is a focal point for the community, delivering real benefits. It is important that these benefits are spread to other areas of south London.”