A tram network linking Colliers Wood and Sutton is on the cards

A tram network connecting Sutton and Merton is inching closer to reality.Last year TfL published a report showing 81 per cent of respondents supported an extension of the London Trams network to Sutton, which is just one of just six London boroughs without a tube link.

Options that had been floated included a tram between Sutton and Wimbledon or a choice of three routes which would use Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) where large buses would run in specially constructed lanes, separate from general traffic.But this week TfL released the results of a consultation it carried out into which option people would like to see.

The results were: 

  1. 65 percent of respondents supported or strongly supported Route Option 1 (South Wimbledon – Sutton)
  2. 55 percent of respondents supported or strongly supported Route Option 2 (Colliers Wood – Sutton)
  3. 49 per cent of respondents supported or strongly supported Route Option 3 (Wimbledon – Sutton)
  4. 81 percent of respondents supported or strongly supported the Tram option 
  5. 40 percent of respondents supported or strongly supported the BRT option 
  6. Your Local Guardian: 

The report added that TfL’s preferred route following the consultation would be option 2, but as a tram service instead of BRT.”Since the public consultation, we have undertaken further assessment of the options for the scheme,” the report read.

“Assuming we are successful in securing funding to deliver the project, Route Option 2 (Colliers Wood – Sutton) operated as a tram service has emerged as the preferred option.”Some of the key reasons informing this route preference are that it has the greatest transport benefits, is the most effective option at regenerating the areas served and supporting new homes and has fewer delivery challenges compared to the other routes.”

This tram option would be more expensive though, and TfL said that while some funding is currently in place, more is needed to move the project forward. TfL has committed £70 million to the scheme, with at least another £30 million split between Merton and Sutton councils.

The report added that the Sutton Link would speed up public transport journey times from Sutton town centre to Colliers Wood by up to 18 minutes (50 per cent) and would be capable of carrying approximately 2,200 passengers per hour.Assuming that progress is made with identifying the funding for the scheme, the earliest that construction could begin is in 2023 and is expected to last approximately three years.

Councillor Jayne McCoy, chairwoman of Sutton Council’s Housing, Economy and Business Committee said of the Sutton Link announcement: “The TfL-preferred route unlocks housing and employment opportunities, particularly for some of the more deprived areas of our borough, which currently have limited public transport options. 

“It will also provide a boost for Sutton town centre, attracting businesses and providing more jobs. “The added potential to extend the route to the London Cancer Hub in Belmont will bring national benefits and we will be working with the Mayor of London to make the case to Government for this investment.”

Cabinet member for regeneration, housing and transport, Councillor Martin Whelton, said: “We welcome the continued support for the Sutton Link by the Mayor of London as it will provide an additional fast, reliable public transport choice for our residents.”Merton residents strongly backed proposals to extend the tramlink in the consultation held on the proposals for the new route.

“The Sutton Link has the potential to boost the economy in the area, enhancing access to jobs as well as creating new options for education, retail and leisure destinations.”The development would also play a key role in our ongoing work to improve the quality of air in Merton, by promoting greater use of sustainable travel options such as public transport, walking and cycling.”The council is deeply committed to discouraging the reliance on car use to reduce the air pollution that motorised vehicles create.”

Special Thanks to Your Local Guardian for their Article- https://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/18227842.tram-network-linking-colliers-wood-sutton-cards/

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