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||Hounslow tram project
Unlike the other possible tram schemes for the Capital the A4 Fast Lane Hounslow tram project is being proposed not by Transport for London but by Hounslow Council and West London Business Chamber of Commerce. The reason for its promotion being more in mitigation for the effects which are anticipated from Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 rather than existing traffic requirements.
The main route would run From Heathrow along the A4 to Hammersmith while a second route being proposed would run to Kingston upon Thames along the A312 corridor.
In November 2001 the London Borough of Hounslow commissioned an independent consultancy to undertake a preliminary assessment of the options for a tram scheme in the borough and adjacent are s. Their initial investigations have been positive. There is much more detailed Work to do but they believe that:
- There are no major engineering problems with trams on the A4 or A312 routes according to initial investigations
- This means capital costs for the scheme are consistent with similar existing schemes elsewhere in the UK
- Conservative estimates indicate that over 20% of those travelling by car and public transport at peak times, would make their journeys by tram. This would significantly reduce traffic congestion an the A4 and other local roads
- There is a big enough demand for a tram service on the A4 to cover running costs.
- The schemes are completely consistent with national and London government's desire for a step change in public transport. The schemes should be seen as an integral part of a West London Transit network and as part of the West London Transport Strategy.
- There is strong support for the need for radical improvements to public transport in the area from major local businesses and support in principle from West London boroughs.
- A high frequency modern tram system for the A4 and A312 corridors to Heathrow to give people living and working in Hounslow a reliable alternative to the car
- Fast trams running every 6 minutes in peak and every 10 minutes outside peak at 25/20km an hour
- A cleaner environment with up to 20% of car traffic every day transferring to the tram. cutting air and noise pollution
- The potential for a groundbreaking partnership between local business, the private sector, local boroughs and Transport for London
The local transport system in the A4 area
- Is home to 1.5 million people
- Is the workplace for 650,000 employees, and includes 20 of the top 500 UK firms
- Is the location for Heathrow, the world's busiest international airport, which with T5 will have the capacity for more than 85 million passengers a year
- Is a prime location for companies, which has resulted in significant development in the area and particularly on the A4 'Golden Mile'
- Major arterial roads, particularly the M4 and A4 carry large volumes of traffic
- 150,000 trips made a day with origin or destination in the area
- 25,500 car trips made a day within the 7am to 10am peak time, with origin or destination in the area
- Roads in the area are very congested
- Trains and buses follow mainly radial routes to and from Central London
- 10,700 trips made by public transport during the 7am to 10am peak time, with origin or destination in the area
- Public transport is unreliable and the Piccadilly line is overcrowded
- Traffic volumes are exacerbated by the proximity to Heathrow and have potential for dramatic growth with the building of T5
- The local area has some of the worst air pollution in London
- Local doctors reported concerns at the T5 inquiry about the number of patients they see with breathing difficulties
- There are nearly 190,000 people living within 800m of the A4 and A312.
- There are nearly 190,000 people working within 800m of the A4 and A312.
- There are 287,000 trips made a day with origins or destinations within the area of the proposed scheme, but only 70,000 - less than 25% - are made by public transport.
- This project is at a very early stage and if the scheme is to move forward more investigations and modelling must be carried out. It is proposed to form a Public Private Partnership to drive this forward and a steering group of interested parties will be set up. The council considers there to be a clear justification to progress the A4 tram route. The case for a route along the A312 is less strong, but should not be discounted at this stage and they will continue to investigate both routes with their potential partners. The involvement of Transport for London and the Mayor of London is also vital as custodians of the two roads involved.
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