Jenny believes that the £200m project will provide at least 50 million passengers a year with a more reliable and sustainable form of transport, but TfL have to provide the money and imagination to meet many of the community’s demands, such as traffic calming.
Overall, there will be less traffic on Ealing’s roads, due to the large number of local people who are expected to leave their cars at home and take the tram instead. However, some roads will have more cars as traffic is diverted off the main roads and Jenny wants TfL to minimise the impact of this on residents. Jenny wants the Mayor of London to allocate a large pot of money to tackle rat running, with the creation of traffic reduction schemes like Home Zones, Safe Routes to School Schemes and road closures. These schemes would also deal with the current growth in traffic which comes from the large number of cars which travel north to south, only using the A 4020 for a short distance.
Jenny also raised the case for extra buses as an alternative to the West London Tram project and was assured that this would happen if TfL turned down the tram scheme at their July Board meeting. However, the extra buses would not be as reliable as trams unless they had priority through the pinch points, which also involves diverting the traffic. Finally, the buses are powered by heavy diesel engines which are obviously more polluting than the zero emission (at point of use) trams. TfL has promised to produce a briefing outlining the pros and cons of the bus vs tram alternatives.
Jenny Jones said:
“The planners got rid of London’s trams in order to make more room for cars. Everyone knows that we made a big mistake in getting rid of the trams and now we have the hard work of reversing the process. A lot of car drivers are going to complain, but Trams are faster, cheaper, more reliable and greener than the other public transport alternatives. If people want a genuine alternative to driving in London, then the Trams are one of the best. If this scheme succeeds, it will open the way for the expansion of a tram network along radial routes like the North Circular.”
“Trams will benefit everyone. It will be a reliable and frequent form of public transport, but for the price of a bus journey. It will reduce air pollution as the number of cars and buses declines.”