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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Trams set for London comeback
Impression of new central London tram
The tram plan aims to cut traffic congestion
Trams are to return to the streets of central London for the first time in 50 years in a 500m scheme being unveiled on Wednesday.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone has given the go-ahead for a 300m north-south Cross River link and a 200m tramway through west London.

The West London tram, due to be completed by 2009, is set to run from Uxbridge to Shepherds Bush via Acton, Ealing, Hanwell and Southall town centres.

The Cross River tram, earmarked for completion by 2011, will link Camden and Kings Cross, via Euston and Waterloo, to Peckham and Brixton in the south.

122 million passengers

Up to 122 million passengers each year are expected to use the network when it returns to the city centre for the first time since July 1952.

This includes 72 million passengers on the Cross River tram and 50 million in West London.

Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone wants reliable transport

A combination of public and private financing will back the new schemes which aim to cut congestion, boost public transport and regenerate regions in the capital.

They form part of a 560m package of public transport initiatives announced to complement Mr Livingstone's controversial central London congestion charging scheme.

This is set to be introduced in February and has created a demand for greater capacity on public transport.

'Faster transport'

He is hoping passengers will switch from cars to tram following the success of the Croydon Tramlink in south London.

Mr Livingstone, announcing the decision after months of public consultation, said: "The West London and Cross River Trams will provide faster and more reliable public transport in these heavily congested areas of London.

Croydon Tramlink in south London
The Croydon Tramlink in south London is a success

"I will be talking to the government about how to speed up the planning process which would enable these schemes to be delivered even more rapidly."

Other measures announced on Wednesday include two new bus routes: the East London Transit and the Greenwich Waterfront Transit.

The first stage of the East London Transit Scheme will run between Ilford, Barking, Barking Reach and Dagenham Dock Station.

It is set to cost 35m, carry six million passengers annually and be completed by 2006.

The Greenwich Waterfront Transit Scheme is expected to operate between North Greenwich and Abbey Wood by 2008.

The first phase will cost approximately 25m and carry 10m passengers annually.


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29 May 02 | England
19 May 01 | Scotland
20 Jul 00 | UK Politics
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