Is the West London Tram a 'done deal'?
No it's not according to Save Ealing Streets
Campaign group Save Ealing Streets have made a decisive change in strategy by switching to outright opposition to the West London Transit System.
Previously the group professed to be not necessarily against the tram per se but were concerned about the possibility of the diversion of traffic down residential streets. Now, as their lobbying has failed to secure what they feel to be effective compromises on this issue they are urging a rejection of the scheme.
They are anxious to counter the impression that the scheme is a 'done deal'. A statement from the group said, "The public are being led to believe that the WLT is agreed as Ken Livingstone and the TfL propaganda machine continue to inform the public about how lovely the tram will be, how the scheme is gaining more public approval etc. However, the decision-making process is lengthy and the scheme can be still be rejected due to lack of public support"
They are asking the public to attend a protest on Haven Green on Saturday 3rd July from 10.30am to 11.30am
The Mayor, Tim Jones (TfL) and John Cudmore (Leader of Ealing Council) have been invited to participate in SES's own Speakers' Corner where soapbox orators aim to tell TfL and Ealing Council why the scheme is not acceptable for West London.
At the November 2002 Public Meeting, TfL asked for the community's views. SES say they have spent 18 months making suggestions as to how the scheme could be improved to meet the needs and concerns of residents and businesses of West London. Many of the suggestions made by local groups during the consultation were considered to be workable solutions by TfL, but they have since been dropped due to 'mayoral and/or TfL policy'. SES claim TfL has given little consideration to the threat the scheme would pose to businesses along or near to the route or to how people and vehicles will travel north/south across the Uxbridge Road or to having the tram route integrate with Ealing Broadway station.
TfL's current preferred options show Uxbridge Road closures at Acton and West Ealing and partial closures at Shepherd's Bush and Ealing Broadway. The options will give the tram priority and restrict the number of vehicles passing through town centres. With the exception of Ealing Broadway - where the plan is to divert eastbound traffic up Springbridge Road and along a new road across Haven Green which will require the felling of many mature horse chestnut trees - there are no official diversions or designated alternative routes for displaced road traffic.
Traffic will be encouraged to find other routes off the Uxbridge Road to reach its final destination and this may significantly increase traffic and pollution levels on most local and residential roads.
The group have contacted candidates in the Mayoral election for their views on the tram. Simon Hughes and Steve Norris have both said that they will abandon the scheme. Although they haven't endorsed a specific candidate SES are urging residents to vote for a first and second choice for Mayor.
June 7, 2004