Council leaders united on tram plan
Plans are being made to extend the Tramlink service from Wimbledon further into Merton and onto Sutton.
The Leaders of Merton and Sutton Councils have signed a joint Statement of Intent showing their commitment to seeking an extension of the network through their boroughs.
Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, joined Leader of Sutton, Councillor Sean Brennan, at Mitcham Junction tram stop to sign the agreement.
Director of the South London Partnership, Ian Smith, was also present at the signing to offer his organisation's support to improving transport links in South London.
Two possible routes have been identified, converging at Rosehill and continuing to Sutton town centre. The first would go via Mitcham Junction, Willow Walk, and St Helier Hospital. The second would go via Morden (London Road), Morden town centre and Rosehill.
A third option to extend the route north to Mitcham town centre and Tooting is also included as part of the longer term plan. Both boroughs will lobby jointly to secure support and funding for the proposal from Transport for London and central government.
The extension to Sutton is one of a number of possible extensions to the Tramlink network currently being evaluated by TfL. Although there is no funding at present, both councils are hopeful that the line will be considered favourably when funding becomes available.
Leader of Merton Council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis (left) said: "This agreement will allow us to push jointly for the tram network to reach more communities in Merton and Sutton. Extending the tram route will be a huge benefit to many businesses and residents. It has been an longstanding aspiration for Merton and is part of our new core planning strategy."
Leader of Sutton Council, Councillor Sean Brennan said: "The signing of this agreement is a big step forward towards our ambition of bringing trams back to Sutton town centre, and we are pleased to be joining forces with our neighbours in Merton to promote these extensions.
"They will significantly improve access to Sutton town centre and St. Helier Hospital, and open up employment opportunities at Willow Lane for residents of the St. Helier estate. We hope this proposal will be viewed positively by TfL and The Mayor."
September 19, 2011