It has been reported (SLP 7th December) that TfL are rejecting the idea of a tram loop round Peckham town centre. Peckham Vision has asked Val Shawcross, the London Assembly Member for Southwark & Lambeth, to press the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, to intervene to get TfL to discuss the idea with the local community.
We are astonished that TfL appear to reject the idea without any discussion. During the TfL consultation on the route last December/January, TfL promised to come back to the local community to discuss particular details. Now they appear to be saying they will take decisions without any further discussions.
They are reported as saying they reject it because it would cross the High St in two places, it is longer than the TfL route, and it would share more road space with other vehicles. But:
- The number of tram crossings would be the same with the TfL and the loop proposals – two crossings of the High St. The impact on traffic might even be less with the loop as the number of tram movements in one place would be halved.
- The relatively small extra route length would bring the tram in walking distance of thousands more people in Nunhead, Peckham Rye & East Dulwich, and bring it directly outside Peckham Rye station.
- The benefits of the single-track compared with the double-track might outweigh the greater road sharing – half the number of trams on more roads might have less impact on traffic.
- Southwark Council have asked TfL to investigate it. TfL can’t do that properly without discussions on the ground with local people who are familiar with the streets concerned, and with the proposal. Even better variations on the idea might emerge from such constructive local discussions.
- This idea really deserves thorough discussion with TfL on the ground.