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Prescott rides Tramlink

The Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott joined a group of Croydon schoolchildren from Kingsley Primary School, taking part in a 'test run' preparing drivers and local residents for the opening of Croydon's Tramlink later this month.

Calling the trams accessible, integrated and environmentally sound twenty-first century public transport, he went on to say "It's great to see these trams in action in Croydon today. Light rail schemes like this one, funded by partnerships between the public and private sectors, are revolutionising public transport in cities across the country. ... There are also exciting light rail projects being developed for London, which I look forward to seeing in more detail. I hope the 10-year plan we are working on will enable us to finance other light rail schemes nationwide.

"Croydon's trams will be frequent, fast and environmentally friendly - it is estimated that they'll carry more than 20 million passengers each year, and save 2 million car journeys. They have been designed for maximum security and accessibility for disabled people. From what I've seen today, I'm sure that Croydon will welcome trams back - after half a century away."

The New Addington to Croydon branch should open to fare-paying passengers this month, with the two other lines - Beckenham Junction and Wimbledon - expected to open in May.

6 April 2000

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