Latest: 22 October - Campaign meeting
A new group has been launched to lobby for tram services to be extended across South London. The group, known as the South London Trams Group, is formed by the South London Partnership plus Lambeth Council and wants to see the Croydon Tramlink network extended. They would like to see routes constructed connecting Tooting, Crystal Palace, Sutton and Streatham to the current network. The Director of the South London Partnership, Christine Seaman is quoted as saying "As south London is only served by about 10% of London Underground, it is very dependent upon mainline rail services and car usage. The tram provides an ideal alternative form of public transport for Londoners. It is fast, safe, reliable and accessible." The sketch (right) gives a rough impression of the various proposals and aspirations of the group.
The South London Partnership is a voluntary forum of seven London boroughs (Bromley, Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth), the London South Learning and Skills Council, the South London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Business Link for London, South London business, Kingston University, SELTRANS (SE London transport partnership), SWELTRAC (SW London transport partnership), and the SW London Health Authority.
This is one of five sub regions within London designated by the mayor as part of his London plan and each sub region will be working closely with him to develop what are called sub-regional frameworks which are an elaboration of the London plan at a more detailed local level.
The South London Partnership held a public meeting on the 18th October which brought together councillors, businesses and community organisations to explore ways in which the breadth and strength of support for the tram extensions could be demonstrated to both the Mayor and the Government.
South London Partnership has offered its support - in the form of marketing materials, including a display stand, speakers for meetings and events and familiarisation visits to the Tramlink depot. The Partnership is encouraging businesses and organisations to think of ways they can help to educate people about the proposed extensions and the benefits they will bring to south London, as well as demonstrate determination to get real investment in transport infrastructure for south London.
Speaking at the meeting Bruce McDonald, Chief Executive of the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames said: "With transport investment (as with so many other issues) south London is the poor relation and we recognise that if this is to change then we must make a great deal of noise in south London. Recognising this South London Partnership decided to set up a lobby group to make our case - and we see the business and community voice as the most powerful aspect of that lobby."
Christine Seaman, Director of South London Partnership said: "We were delighted so many people took the time to contribute their ideas and support. I would urge anyone organising an event or meeting which could include an opportunity to promote the case for the tram extensions to contact the South London Partnership. Our success is dependent on demonstrating that south London is united in its commitment to securing the extensions to the already successful, efficient and hugely popular Tramlink."
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