Tramlink services through to Wimbledon have resumed as normal after Transport for London built a new tram platform at the tram network’s western terminus in less than five months.
From next spring, when four new trams enter service, bringing the fleet up to 34, it will allow an additional four trams an hour to serve the stop. That will see 12 trams an hour – one every five minutes – running along the busy route from Wimbledon to Croydon.
Since June, west-bound services were terminating at Dundonald Road, one stop up the line from the town centre and rail and Tube interchange, while the construction work took place.
“Next year, new trams will mean customers will receive a better, more frequent service between Wimbledon and West Croydon,” said Nick Brown, the managing director of London Underground and Rail.
“We’re also making journeys more reliable, providing more frequent trams during the off-peak, with brighter trams and stops and improved crossings, which will make a real difference to the customers who use the service every day.”
We’re passengers, Nick. Passengers.
A number of improvements have already been made, including additional track between Mitcham Junction and Beddington Lane which allows trams to travel in both directions simultaneously allowing for more frequent and faster journeys.
The tram network, which covers nearly 20 miles of track and runs right the way across outer south London from Beckenham through to Wimbledon, has gone from carrying 18.5 million passengers in its first year of operation in 2000 to more than 32 million in 2014-2015, and demand is forecast to increase to around 60 million by 2030.
In a statement issued to the press, TfL said: “The improvements will also have a positive impact on other transport services in the area, helping to relieve congestion on buses and encouraging car owners to leave their vehicles at home – reducing traffic and carbon emissions.”
If only that were always the case.
TfL has just produced a report based on a public “consultation” which could see the biggest expansion to the network since it opened, but rather than provide an extension to new stops – in Sutton or Crystal Palace, as Tory London Assembly Member Steve O’Connell has been keen to promise, regularly and often – they want to spend more than £20 million of public cash on a small loop of track around Dingwall Road at East Croydon, so that the public transport tram does not disrupt the flow of private vehicles that are anticipated will want to drive in to the car parks at the £1 billion supermall at Hammersfield.
Public planning at its finest…
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