Tories reaffirm anti-tram stance
Scheme not economically viable and unfair on disabled
Ealing Conservatives this week affirmed their opposition to the West London Tram following a policy statement at national level which appeared to make trams a key element of their party's policy. They are saying that the scheme is both economically unviable and unsuitable for the elderly and disabled.
Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Jason Stacey said, “Uxbridge Road is extremely narrow in places and the inevitable displacement of traffic will actually increase congestion not lessen it. Many thousands of residents in nearby roads will suffer from noise, pollution and congestion as a result of rat-runners, not to mention the disruption caused in the building process.”
He added that he felt this particular tram scheme was not economically viable. "TfL's assessment of the wider social and economic benefits amounts to £20M per year. Yet this is simply not enough to justify a £650M scheme which will require support from the taxpayer of £48M per year for 25 years.”
At a recent Ealing Public Transport Users meeting, a number of bus users expressed concerns about the proposed tram’s increased distances between stops and a reduction in seating compared with buses. Conservative Transport Spokesman, Cllr Will Brooks said:
“Tram stops will be a third of a mile apart – about twice the distance of existing bus stops – meaning that many people will have to walk twice as far to access public transport. If you rely on crutches or a stick or use a wheelchair, that extra distance will be a real burden.
“A Conservative administration will stand up for people with disabilities by lobbying for buses that are accessible and have adequate seating. And we will oppose madcap schemes that force people to walk longer distances to catch public transport. ”
April 25, 2006