West London residents send SOS to Ken over tram plans

An existing tram system operating in Croydon. copyright Mark Jansen

Representatives of the Save Ealing Streets campaign have visited City Hall for a meeting with Ken Livingstone.

The Mayor is anxious to dispel accusations that the West London Transit Scheme is being pushed through without proper consultation with local residents. He has taken the unusual step of inviting campaigners to his office for discussions about the scheme.

The £200 million plan has the support of the Mayor and Ealing Council but the Save Ealing's Streets campaign has gathered over 11,000 signatures to urge the authorities to give due consideration to local residents.

The tram would run along the Uxbridge Road but, at certain "pinch points", the roads would not be wide enough to handle both cars and trams, leading to fears that traffic would need to be redirected. One pinch point is on Acton High Street which raises the possibility that Churchfield Road could become an alternative route for traffic. Rat runs could also develop in the northern part of Chiswick. Transport for London deny that any specific plans have been formulated that require the closure of the Uxbridge Road to traffic but campaigners say that no viable alternatives to closure are being put forward.

Mr Livingstone points out that 75% of respondents to a consultation were in favour of the scheme but Save Ealing's Streets say that the possibility of the diversion of traffic was not mentioned in the consultation document. Currently 27,000 cars a day travel along the Uxbridge Road and the tram scheme is only envisage to reduce traffic to 80% of that level. At it meeting with over 1000 local residents last year, Ealing Council leader, John Cudmore, promised more detailed consultation with local residents before the scheme proceeds.

The trams are due to start service in 2009 and will carry 50 million people a year.

January 9, 2003

Save Ealing's Street's manifesto

The Story So Far - Documentation on the Planned Scheme

Mayor Says Yes to West London tram scheme

Trams in Acton June 2002 ActonW3.com

"The Uxbridge Road will get trams, Chiswick will get traffic." October 2001 ChiswickW4.com

Map of planned route (Adobe Acrobat required)