PROS AND CONS
What SSBS says:
Permanent closure of the Uxbridge Road at six points between Uxbridge
and Shepherd's Bush.
Re-routing 27,000 vehicles (cars, trucks and lorries) down residential
streets would bring pollution, noise and danger.
Increased congestion will clog other main roads such as A4,the
A40, Holland Park, Shepherd's Bush Road and Goldhawk Road caused
by displaced vehicles trying to find an alternative route.
At least 50% of the road would be given over to public transport
which would mean absolutely no stopping and/or parking anywhere
along the Uxbridge Road.
Huge costs: the tramway was, three years ago, estimated at £200
million, then it rocketed to £425 million, and then a mathematical
error was discovered and it is now estimated at £671 million
and annual losses are expected to be £47 million.
There would be a period of more than three and a half years when
we would have neither a road, nor a tramway.
Compulsory Purchase Order: WLT would relieve you of your property
under a Compulsory Purchase Order if you are in their way.
What TfL says:
The continued growth in West London's population and traffic levels
will require additional public transport.
Trams can carry in excess of 300 passengers in each vehicle (while
the largest bus (the bendy-bus) can carry up to 140 passengers).
Trams also encourage people to use public transport - in Croydon
approximately 18% of tram passengers previously made their journey
Electrically powered trams have zero emissions in the street and
are less noisy than other forms of public transport.
Trams are a cost effective way of meeting high passenger demand
Trams are easily accessible with no step or gap to the tram stop.
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no doubt about the need for improving the public transport in West
London. Working on the existing bus system is one solution, but
for the moment the tram is the first option. Only if the Mayor does
not obtain the necessary powers to build a tram, he will go for
the improvement of buses.
There are several pros and cons about the construction of the Tram.
It could restrict at least 50% of Uxbridge Road, but it would supply
additional public transport in West London. It would re-route 27,000
vehicles down to residential streets, bringing pollution and noise,
but electrically powered trams have zero emissions in the street
and are less noisy than other forms of public transport. It supposes
huge costs (now estimated at £671 million), but it is said
to be a cost effective way of meeting high passenger demand.
Considering the above, there is no doubt also that residents need
to be thoroughly and properly consulted and informed about all what
is involved during the three years of the construction of the Tram
and the later consequences once it is built and working.
Not considering their position either pro or against the Tram, SSBS
(Save Shepherd's Bush Streets), RAPA (Residents' Amenities Protection
Association), The Ravenscourt Society, SBRA (Stamford Brook Residents'
Association), GRAG (Greenside Residents'Action Group), H&F Cyclists
and other active community groups and residents have won at least
one round in favour of the community.
One important concern was about the quality of the consultation
carried out by Transport for London. SSBS says in their Web site:
"TfL are making much their 2001 Consultation questionnaire
and the recent (February/March 2003) telephone survey but we question
the integrity of the results. To start with the questionnaire did
not point out the detrimental effects on the residents and the existing
businesses. Because this extremely relevant and important information
was missing from the badly distributed consultation document we
believe that the results of this questionnaire are irrelevant."
Now, the Mayor announced at the Assembly Members, on 21 May, that
he was extending the timetable for the West London Tram Project
to allow more time for consultation on the scheme, including traffic
modelling. The TfL Board and the Mayor will now consider whether
or not to proceed with the tram scheme in early 2004 (it was initially
set for September/October 2003). It means more time for residents
to decide whether they want or not the Tram.
The Tfl's survey in March showed that 56% of West Londoners supported
the Tram, while 30% are against. Although the integrity of this
survey is in question, at least businesses are clearly divided about
the issue. Hammersmith and Fulham Chamber of Commerce hosted last
week a meeting about the Tram with local businesses and TfL.
About 20 local businesses attended the meeting and got the promise
from Tim Jones, West London Tram Project Director, that every single
establishment in Uxbridge Road would be heard. According to John
Lawrence, HFCC manager, there are important concerns about the construction
period: "How their customers will get there during the time
the Tram is being built? How the delivery will be done? How important
will be the disturbance for those business?"
But impact won't be the same depending of the type of the business.
One wholesaler of electrical goods and building materials present
to the meeting, for example, could risk of losing his customers,
who would go somewhere else and probably won't came back after three
years. "He is even thinking of moving to another borough, what
would signify loses of jobs here", said Lawrence.
On the other hand, for Gordon Keenan, director of the Urban Partnership
Group, also based in Uxbridge Road, what is important is "the
long term prospect of improvement of the quality of transport available".
But he admits that the construction period won't suppose an important
impact for his business.