Page last updated at 08:58 GMT, Thursday, 28 August 2008 09:58 UK

Mayor urged to support tram plan

Artist's impression of tram
It is hoped the Cross River Tram would ease pressure on Tube lines

London's mayor Boris Johnson has been urged to back plans for a 1.3bn cross-river tram service.

Supporters say the service from Camden Town to Peckham would ease congestion and revive south-east London.

London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon said: "It's about having fast, green, efficient transport that's going to really regenerate this part of London."

Transport for London (TfL) said the cost implications would be reviewed by the mayor at a meeting on 9 September.

The Cross River Tram would include branches to Euston, Waterloo, King's Cross and Brixton stations.

Under the plans, trams would run on separate lanes to other traffic and offer a hop-on, hop-off service at the same cost as a bus journey.

It can take longer to get from places like Peckham to the centre of town than it does to get to places like Reading, and that is just ridiculous
Caroline Pidgeon, Lib Dem London Assembly member

Liberal Democrat Ms Pidgeon said the tram was vital to improving transport links and easing pressure on the London Underground.

"It can take longer to get from places like Peckham to the centre of town than it does to get to places like Reading, and that is just ridiculous," she said.

The tram was originally proposed in 2001, with 92% of respondents in favour of the plan in a public consultation the following year.

Earlier this year a TfL consultation found the majority of 5,000 organisations and members of the public questioned were "positive about the principle of the project".

But some councillors in the north of London feared the tram would force cars into residential streets.

TfL spent 3.3m on developing the plan last year and intends to spend a further 6m this year.

However, it has allocated no funding to its development beyond 2010, and no government funding has been earmarked for the plan.

A TfL spokesman said: "The mayor intends to review the transport, environmental and cost implications of the Cross River Tram in order to decide the best way forward."

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