People in Merton and Sutton have strongly backed proposals to extend the tramlink from Wimbledon to Sutton town centre.
Transport for London (TfL) is looking into plans to extend the tramlink via Morden and had asked Merton and Sutton Council to gauge public opinion.
Over the summer, the councils ran a joint public consultation in partnership with TfL which attracted a high response rate with 9,846 people taking part. Out of those, 84 per cent said they either strongly supported or supported the proposal to extend the Tramlink from Wimbledon to Sutton town centre via Morden.
The high number of supporters was almost identical in both boroughs. In Sutton, 83 per cent of people either supported or strongly supported the tramlink extension. In Merton, that figure was 84 per cent.
The overwhelming public support is matched by cross party support at all levels of government representing the two boroughs. They include both council leaders, both leaders of the council opposition parties, all four MPs and the two assembly members.
The proposed tramlink extension is predicted to bring major economic and social benefits for south London. They include unlocking growth and boosting business; creating more than 10,000 long term jobs and 2,000 temporary construction jobs; improving access to education, retail and leisure facilities; much needed growth to our transport capacity; and reducing car usage and increasing visitors to our commercial districts.
Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Leader of Merton Council said: “The public have sent a clear message. They want a extension and they want it to go from Wimbledon via Morden and St Helier Hospital. We know from first-hand experience the positive benefits the tram service can bring, with the Croydon tramlink introduced in Merton a decade ago.”
Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said: “The results to the consultation are emphatic. There is a compelling case for to extend the tramlink into Sutton backed by the public and cross party support at all levels. The tram will unlock growth and business opportunities, create thousands of long term jobs and enable Sutton to be better connected as part of London’s transport infrastructure.”
Other notable results to questions in the consultation were that 80 per cent of responses (1056) said at least one member of the household would use the tram; 54 per cent of responses (524) wanted the terminus to be at Wimbledon via Morden Road; 54 per cent (536) favoured the tram following the one-way system in Sutton including both St Nicholas Way and Throwley Way; and 67 per cent chose the preferred option to serve St Helier Hospital via a loop.
The consultation results have been sent to Transport for London which will decide whether to go ahead with the proposal. The results included a letter of support for the extension signed by:
Cllr Stephen Alambritis, Merton Council Leader
Cllr Ruth Dombey, Sutton Council Leader
Cllr Oonagh Moulton, Merton Council Leader of the Opposition
Cllr Tim Crowley, Sutton Council Leader of the Opposition
Richard Tracey, London Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth
Steve O’Connell, London Assembley Member for Croydon and Sutton
Siobhain McDonagh MP for Mitcham and Morden
Stephen Hammond MP for Wimbledon
Tom Brake MP for Carshalton and Wallington
Paul Burstow MP for Sutton and Cheam