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Brian Paddick at Waterloo to back Cross River Tram

Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick came to Waterloo Bridge on Tuesday morning to highlight his pledge to build the Cross River Tram in full.

Brian Paddick with Lib Dem activists on Waterloo B
Brian Paddick with Lib Dem activists on Waterloo Bridge
Brian Paddick and Lib Dem councillors
Southwark's Cllr Nick Stanton, Camden's Cllr Keith Moffitt, Brian Paddick and Cllr Caroline Pidgeon

Mr Paddick – a Lambeth resident – was joined on Waterloo Bridge by the Lib Dem leaders of Southwark and Camden councils to demonstrate support for the tram from both sides of the river. He was also joined by Simon Hughes MP and London Assembly candidate Cllr Caroline Pidgeon.

The Cross River Tram would link Camden Town in the north with Brixton and Peckham in the south, crossing the Thames at Waterloo.

Although the CRT is supported in principle by Conservative, Green, Labour and Lib Dem mayoral candidates, in recent months Ken Livingstone has suggested that the tramway could be built in two phases, starting with the section south of the river.

This approach has been rejected by Brian Paddick who says that if elected he will build the scheme in full as well as developing other ultra light rail (ULR) tram proposals such as a link from Waterloo to Deptford via the Old Kent Road.

Last month we reported that Transport for London has pushed back a final decision on the tram's route till January 2009.

"If we were to develop the southern section first, in any event, we have to conclude how far north it would go," Transport for London commissioner Peter Hendy told the London Assembly transport committee last month.

"Actually, there are some issues there because it does need to connect with the rest of the transport network, and some of the places it might connect are, themselves, not particularly easy. It might appear from studying a map that Waterloo might be a good place to stop it, but if you use Waterloo Tube in the morning rush hour you might have a different view."

Asked about how the tram's impact on the Aylesbury Estate, Peckham, and Brixton would be affected if only the southern section was built, Hendy replied: "One of the things that if we are to stand any chance of getting the scheme funded, and if regeneration is one of its principal effects, then we have to produce a very clear and convincing case about its marginal benefit in terms of regeneration, and that we are seeking to do as well."

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