Unanimous 'no tram' vote for Ealing Council

Council scraps tram plan support with immediate effect

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Contact details of key figures:
Christopher Dean, Project Director, westlondontram@tfl.gov.uk

Save Ealing's Streets 020 8998 7360

London Travel Watch - enquiries@londontravelwatch.org.uk

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Ealing Council voted to stop backing the £650 million West London Tram project ‘with immediate effect’ on Thursday May 18th.

The motion by the new Conservative leadership to remove the council’s support for the plan was backed by the opposition parties including members of the Labour party who had previously backed the scheme.

South Acton Labour councillors Liz Brookes and Yvonne Johnson revealed at the meeting that they had always been opposed to the scheme and had wanted to see Stephen Sears, the councillor who had originally sponsored the scheme, 'strung up' for persuading his colleagues to give it their backing. They admitted that they had know for years that opposition to the tram was overwhelming and that their party had been 'arrogant' not to listen to what people were telling them.

The council has disbanded the team of consultants which was working with TfL on the plan. This puts the council in a stronger financial position to fight the West London Tram project as and when considered necessary.

Council leader Jason Stacey has written to the leaders of two other local authorities on the route, Hillingdon and Hammersmith & Fulham, to discuss joining forces and potentially pooling resources against the scheme.

However, he vowed that even if Ealing has to lead the battle to scrap the Tram plan alone, it will do so. Councillor Stacey, said: “This is what the people of Ealing have asked us to do and we will not let them down." 

He added: “We want to have a constructive relationship with TfL. However, they may try to punish us for stopping support for the Tram by withdrawing funding for other schemes in the borough. I sincerely hope this will not happen, but let me make it clear that we will not be bullied or cajoled into accepting the half-baked Tram scheme.”

He still wanted to work closely with TfL on alternative transport schemes to ease congestion along the Uxbridge Road, such as an extension of the Central Line from Ealing Broadway to Southall station.

May 19 2006