Letter To Boris: "Extend The Tramlink"

An open letter to the Mayor from the South London Partnership

Dear Mr Mayor,

You are about to endorse the investment plans for transport in London through to 2018. We in south London are, like you, strong advocates of Tramlink and we are pleased you stated in your Manifesto that you wish to develop Tramlink and since your re-election have publicly reiterated your willingness to ‘pursue that ambition’ (Assembly Questions, 23rd May 2012). We were heartened in south London to see this as a clear sign of your commitment and endorsement of what Tramlink has to offer.

Tramlink has been an unprecedented success with passenger demand doubling since it opened in 2000. Any of the 30 million passengers per year will have experienced the extremely reliable and affordable transportation it provides. The recent introduction of the new trams on to the network as Line 4 is very welcome. However, given Tramlink’s popularity, this is just a short term measure to improving capacity.

Tramlink has improved connectivity and accessibility to jobs but it cannot do more without further investment to expand the network and increase capacity, which is self-evident to all those that use the network. Investment in transport connections has been identified as the greatest barrier to holding back jobs and business growth in South London, and London needs growth in every part of the capital.

You yourself have said that:

“Trams are the lifeblood of the transport system in south London and by boosting the frequency, even more people will have easier, quicker, more comfortable access to the jobs, education and facilities south London has to offer.”

Recognising how essential Tramlink is to south London ’s economy, expansion of the network is as important as ever.

Therefore given your Manifesto pledge and that as Mayor you are in the driving seat to steer such investment, our firm expectation is that funding for a Tramlink extension will be included in the forthcoming Transport for London Business Plan.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Leader of Merton Council & Chair of South London Partnership Leaders’ Group and Steve O'Connell, London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton.

November 13, 2012