Less than a month to give your views
Residents have been given less than a month to give their views on a proposed extension to the Wimbledon-Croydon tramlink.
TfL has drawn up different possible routes which would connect Wimbledon to Sutton town centre, via Morden.
The plans for the Tramlink spur, which could run along Morden Road and going to Sutton along St Helier Avenue, have been 'on the table' for some time.
But Merton Park councillors are "mystified" about why such an important proposal is now being considered at short notice in the middle of the holiday season.
Residents and businesses should comment online or email their views to email@example.com by August 17. Paper copies are available from Merton Civic Centre.
Merton Council and TfL experts will be on hand to answer any questions at a series of drop-in sessions held for people wishing to look at and talk through the proposals in more detail. The drop-in session in Merton will be on July 31 from 4.30pm-7.30pm at the Civic Centre in Morden. There will also be a presentation at the council's Public Transport Liaison Committee on July 29 at 7.15pm.
All the responses to the consultation will be considered and used to help inform decisions about how Tramlink could be extended in the future. Merton and Sutton Councils are working with a company called Dialogue by Design to run an independent consultation and report back on responses to the Tramlink proposals from residents and businesses across both boroughs. A report will be submitted to TfL and published online in the autumn.
Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge said: "An extension to Tramlink, connecting a significant area of the borough to the major transport hubs of Wimbledon and Sutton could provide quick, easy and clean public transport for many people. We want to hear from residents and businesses about what they think of the proposals.
"We will then ensure that residents' views are shared with TfL and taken into account in deciding on where a Tramlink extension would go. Our preferred route would run mainly on-road between the existing Morden Road tram stop, along Morden Hall Road, St Helier Avenue, up to Rose Hill and on to Sutton town centre."
MP for Wimbledon, Stephen Hammond, said: "I have consistently supported Tramlink and welcome the new proposals. The line extension from Wimbledon will be of great benefit to Wimbledon especially if it goes to St Helier hospital. It has been long talked about and now, under a Conservative led Government, it is likely to happen."
Councillor Stephen Crowe, Conservative Transport spokesman, said: "This consultation is good news for Merton’s residents and businesses. Boris Johnson's long standing commitment to Tramlink is really paying dividends. He has already increased capacity on the existing line by 50% and now there is the real prospect of extending the service to Sutton.
"Conservative councillors will of course be studying closely the alternative options proposed by Merton and Sutton councils. However, what is crucial is that the costs of the final route remain affordable and that any disruption to residents and local neighbourhoods is minimised. Improved access to St Helier hospital, particularly for those living in and around Morden, will also be an important consideration and we would urge residents to give their views on the scheme."
But Merton Park Ward Resident Councillors said in their latest newsletter: "We in the MPWRA are mystified why such an important proposal can be given so little time for consideration in the middle of the holiday season.
"Our councillors have been struggling to gather information on what is proposed – both the scheme and the consultation process itself. The timing appears to have caught Merton off-guard. Tramlink, since it started operations in 2000, is deemed to have brought benefits to Outer London in connectivity and displacing some road traffic.
"Locally, during our recent canvassing for the May elections, we noted considerable dissatisfaction with traffic flows, congestion and rat-running through much of Merton Park Ward. The proposal, relying exclusively on using existing road space, seems likely to make the problem worse."
What do you think? Why not comment on our forum?
July 21, 2014