Tram plans for Wood Green if Ken Livingstone takes City Hall

12:47 22 June 2011

Mayoral contender Ken Livingstone on the campaign trail in Wood Green. Picture: Tony Gay

Mayoral contender Ken Livingstone on the campaign trail in Wood Green. Picture: Tony Gay

Tony Gay

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.

1 comment

  • A viable system would, perhaps, not be "on-road", with all the disruption of construction that produces. Anyone who wants to see an alternative can search for "North and West London Light Railway" on the web. This could be built from the planning gain of the multi-billion developments around North London, like Brent Cross, Colindale, and then east towards the Lea Valley. Such an off-road "DLR" service could reach New Southgate and Arnos Grove, but would be much more expensive further south. It is a shame the old Alexandra Palace-to-Seven Sisters Railway Line wasn't protected; it would be a different matter then. You need the income from development areas, if this is to become more than a pipe-dream, and roughly following the North Circular Road is possibly the best option.

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    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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