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Proposed City Tram
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A new study commissioned by the Corporation of London supports the introduction of a new tram service to serve the City.

The feasibility study was commissioned in response to uncertainties around the funding and delivery of London's core heavy rail projects - Crossrail, Thameslink 2000 and the East London Line Extension - which cost billions rather than millions.

The study is being undertaken in three stages. The results of the initial stages show that:

City tram schematic (BS Lomas) The route with greatest potential runs from Battersea to Hackney via Vauxhall, Elephant and Castle, Borough High Street, Bishopsgate and Shoreditch. Initial estimates suggest a capital cost of around GBP260m for a core route from Battersea to Hackney with an annual operating cost of GBP9m per annum.

Stage three of the study is now underway. This involves a more detailed examination of the feasibility of the chosen route and the preparation of an outline business case.

Graham Forbes, Chairman of the Corporation of London's Planning and Transportation Committee said: "There is a desperate need for improved public transport in the City and we believe this new tram link will help. It would also make a major contribution to relieving overcrowding on key sections of the Underground and improve access to many proposed development schemes."

Savas Sivetidis, Director of the Cross River Partnership, said: "The City scheme would complement the Cross River Partnership’s London Tram scheme, connecting the two and providing the improved orbital transport links that have been identified as a necessary element of our South Central Transport Strategy."

Note: The reference to the use of a 'trenchless' method of construction to avoid the cost of moving the statutory undertakings is of particular interest as it is generally considered that this expense is required in order to avoid interruptions to the tramway service when maintenance is carried out. On what is likely to be a very intensive service such as this it remains to be seen if this idea is practical.

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