Tram plans for Wood Green if Ken Livingstone takes City Hall
PUBLISHED: 12:47 22 June 2011
A scheme to bring trams back to Wood Green for the first time in more than 70 years could be on the cards if Ken Livingstone gets back into office.
The London mayoral contender revealed his vision of a network of trams linking north London suburbs - similar to the Croydon Tramlink in south London - during a campaign trail visit to Wood Green and Tottenham on Monday (June 20).
He said trams could stretch from Wembley and Ealing to Wood Green so commuters are no longer forced to travel into London and out again.
Labour candidate Mr Livingstone, who was the first ever Mayor of London from 2000 to 2008, said: “I’ve always thought what we need in north London is what south London has got - a tram that links the suburbs. No one has done any real work on this, but there would be an arc linking north London boroughs.”
The former mayor is considering the plan for his manifesto to retake City Hall in May 2012 - but similar schemes have proved controversial.
Ealing Council vetoed a £1billion west London tramlink in 2007 and any new tram route would need the backing of residents and councils.
Chris Barker, transport spokesman for the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations, said: “When it comes down to discussing where it would go there would be problems, because fitting in the infrastructure would be difficult.
“But I would hope residents would respond very positively to having a tram system - as residents have in Croydon, where it is very popular and has revived the town centre. We’d like to be able to replicate that. I’m delighted that Ken has taken this up.”
Tram routes have run through Haringey in the past, with horse-drawn trams serving Tottenham as early as 1885.
In 1904 an electric tramway was set up linking Finsbury Park to Wood Green and Tottenham, but by 1938 all tram routes were replaced by bus routes and in 1961 overhead wires were finally removed.