Hammersmith & Fulham withdraw tram support
Decision could be 'final nail in the coffin' for scheme
Hammersmith and Fulham Council have decided to withdraw all support for the West London Tram. Local residents groups who have campaigned against the scheme feel this could be the final nail in the coffin for the tram which was likely to have had a very difficult time at the Public Inquiry stage even without this latest development.
The controversial £650 million scheme would have terminated in the borough at Shepherd's Bush near the new White City shopping centre.
A spokesperson for the Council told us, "Whilst we have always had concerns about various aspects of the tram proposals, the plans to build a storage compound the size of a football pitch on Shepherds Bush Green was the straw that broke the camel's back. Therefore we can confirm that if TFL were to lay the tram bill before parliament, Hammersmith & Fulham Council would oppose it."
The Council had already spent huge sums to regenerate the open space and the compound would have meant that much of this money would have been wasted.
It is not clear how closely Transport for London kept the Council informed of their plans but the second phase of consultation has already caused a huge amount of controversy with many unpleasant surprises in the newly released documents. Twyford School in Acton say they were not informed of plans to take over part of their recreational space for a storage site which would lead to a regular flow of heavy vehicles going in and out of the same entrance as pupils at the school. Shepherd's Bush Cricket Club may be left homeless after they discovered that the pitch they were planning to move to was to be used by the tram project.
It is understood that Tory controlled Hillingdon Council are also considering withdrawing support for the project. This would leave only Ealing Council in favour. They recently signed up with Transport for London to be a joint sponsor.
October 28, 2005