Boris Johnson promises tramlink extension to Crystal Palace and Sutton
AN EARLY new commitment to extending trams to Crystal Palace and Sutton has come from London mayor Boris Johnson.
It was drawn from him on Wednesday by Steve O'Connell, London Assembly member for Croydon and Sutton at the first Mayoral question time since Mr Johnson's re-election earlier this month.
Mr O'Connell said the mayor had renewed his pre-election support by saying the two projects will be in Transport for London's (TfL) work programme and that feasibility studies were in the process of being drawn up.
But the reality is that nothing has a chance of getting off the ground unless the proposals are included in TfL's next ten-year transport business plan, which will be published in December.
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The Crystal Palace extension was dropped after Mr Johnson first came to power four years ago but he put it back on the agenda last year.
In February, he also indicated he supported a Sutton extension following the announcement in September last year that Sutton and Merton Councils were working together to promote a new link between Croydon, Sutton town centre and Morden, serving the St Helier estate.
Mr O'Connell said on Wednesday he believed an extension to Sutton would bring regeneration benefits to St Helier in the same way the original Tramlink had eased journey times and created new job opportunities for people living in New Addington.
He said: "I think it was important as early as possible to pin the mayor down and remind him of his commitment."
He therefore saw his job over the next six months to do everything possible to obtain for financial backing.