MP welcomes ‘tramtastic’ news

July 31, 2013 9:00 AM

Tom Brake with Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow and Norman Baker MP during the launch of the campaign to bring the tram to Sutton.Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake has welcomed the most recent success of the campaign to bring trams to Sutton.

After being grilled at City Hall last week by Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, the Mayor of London recognised the "reasonable business case" for extending the Tramlink to Sutton.

Commenting on the announcement, Tom Brake said: "Sutton needs smart 21st century public transport to reduce our dependence on cars which damage the environment and increase pressures on the transport infrastructure."

"It is encouraging to see that the Mayor is starting to recognise what many in our area, including myself, have been highlighting for a long time - that extending the Tramlink to Sutton will make our local area a more convenient and attractive place to live, work, and do business."

"Together with my colleagues in Sutton Council and Greater London Authority, I will continue to support the campaign and to pressure the Mayor to bring trams to Sutton."

At last week's Mayor's Question Time Caroline Pidgeon highlighted to the Mayor the huge benefits that the extension of the tram would bring, including 10,000 new jobs, help to regenerate Sutton Town Centre and in the long term providing links with the exciting Sutton Life Science Cluster. She also highlighted that Sutton is just one of five London boroughs that does not have an Underground station and is not included in Crossrail or the London Overground, yet despite being excluded from all these significant transport projects the borough still financially contributes to the schemes through the community levy.

In responding to the questions posed by the Liberal Democrats, the Mayor claimed that the staff at Transport for London were already working up plans for a possible tram extension. However, he was unable to clarify how extensive this preparatory work was and refused to give absolute commitment as to when he would finally make a decision.

After grilling the Mayor Caroline Pidgeon said: "There is a very strong case for extending the tram to Sutton. It would bring huge economic benefits, including thousands of new jobs to the borough. Instead of just warm words the Mayor must now make a decision once and for all."

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