Tram bill £23 million and rising
Council accuse TfL of letting costs spiral out of control
The new administration at Ealing Council are demanding that Mayor Livingstone and TfL immediately scrap the West London Tram scheme. The call comes after it was discovered that £23 million has already been spent on the project.
The figure has been discovered by Cllr Will Brooks, Ealing Council’s Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, after he made a request to TfL under the Freedom of Information Act.
Cllr Brooks said, “This is a staggering amount of tax payers money that has been wasted on this ill thought out tram scheme – the equivalent to £203.27 for every household in the borough. This cash could have been better spent on more buses along the Uxbridge Road or planning schemes which will be far more popular, such as an extension of the central line from Ealing Broadway to Southall.”
He accused TfL and the Mayor of flogging a dead horse over the tram project and said that costs had already spiralled out of control. He added, " Even despite the recent local election results and the obvious strong opposition from local residents in West London, tax payers money continues to be wasted”.
A TfL spokesman has been quoted by the Press Association as saying that planning is to continue as the support of the local authorities was not needed. The spokesman said, "TfL will continue to listen to the boroughs and local residents as we progress this scheme." However he was adamant that the scheme would greatly enhance public transport in the area as there was a limit to how many buses could run along the route.
A public inquiry needs to be held before any construction could begin, with the final decision resting with the Transport Secretary. At this stage the earliest work could start is 2009 with the service beginning in 2013.
June 5 2006