Tram Site Review

Letter to Southwark News

On Monday the 30th October there was standing room only at the Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council. Campaigners for effective community participation in the proposed ‘Tram Project’ turned up in large numbers. Led by Peckham Vision they lobbied local Councillors who agreed to the campaigners’ proposals that:
a) site 63P (the proposed depot location in Peckham) is recognised as a site of strategic importance for the future of Peckham town centre
b) a joint working group with neighbouring Peckham Community Council is established to discuss the proposed tram route, tram depot and related developments
c) the Community Council asks the Council’s Executive to get a comprehensive depot review, including a traffic impact assessment on Peckham.

On the agenda for the night was a presentation by Transport for London announcing their consultation on the tram route from 14th November to the 31st January. Peckham Vision must however be commended for turning the focus of the evening’s discussion instead on the tram depot by asking two key questions:

1. What is the right use of site 63P for the future of Peckham Town Centre?
2. What is the right place to locate the Tram Depot?

These questions were asked against the background that TfL’s own report recently emphasised the need for “Ensuring that there is a sound, defensible, comprehensive basis to the selection depot sites..” The same report recommended that there should be a “Comprehensive site review, initially property based, exploring potential sites over entire Cross River Tram network area” and that there should be “Further investigation into existing use and users of sites explored..” The challenge now is for the Executive to do the right thing and use Southwark’s position on the Cross River Partnership to press for a proper comprehensive review of depot site options along the proposed tram route.

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