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A tram after all?

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Wednesday 18 July 2012 11.31pm
Yonks after the Boris kybosh to the cross-river project, now there's this:

Seemingly a Lib Dem/private sector fantasy that's already had a due amount of well-chilled H2O poured on it by Labour.

But would there be much point to it as merely an intra-borough shuttle?
Wednesday 18 July 2012 11.44pm
Both mockups in any event show the notional tram on one of the wider stretches of the proposed route. Much of Borough High Street (which is the A3 after all) is only two lanes each way. And as SE1ers well know, some of the pavement is already absurdly narrow by modern standards.

So what gives way? If the buses are to share the trackway the tram service will have to be so infrequent that people wanting to travel to or from the southern end of Southwark might as well catch an existing ordinary train serving London Bridge.

Or does it mean private vehicles would all be sent up Southwark Bridge Road instead, as some were already agitating for? It had better bloody not!
Thursday 19 July 2012 6.55am
This isn't a comment either way on the tram idea, which seems a bit mad to me. However, I have noticed that people find a way around it when roads are cut off. When BHS was one way for instance, it was horrible at first, but in the end people found other ways around it. Of course, this isn't always in ways that we want, ie up side streets, but mainly I think people start avoiding areas and taking a different route.

I was thinking about York Road and the Shell/Elizabeth House developments. It was commented at one of the consultation meeting that it's a major thoroughfare. However we would find ways around it if it was closed, it would just take longer. I actually sat planning a route in my head during the meeting!

We really need to be (IMHO) braver on closing off roads, as it brings life to a street. Outside of London, councils regularly pedestrianise streets. I went to Leeds city centre recently after years and years and it was somewhat bizarre to walk down streets I used to drive down, but it had created this amazing shopping area. In fact, I couldn't believe the change in the area. It was winter but not that cold and the streets were full of people and it was a really good atmosphere. Apart from the binge drinking it could have been Spain (I know, I know - and the weather). Imagine if we had BHS as a wide promenade, it would bring the street alive.
Thursday 19 July 2012 7.52am
Ah, I reckon it'd be lovely to have trams down to Camberwell and the Bricklayers' Arms. Open up two areas with very poor access to reliable public transport. Unfortunately this scheme does just sound like so much wishful thinking...
Thursday 19 July 2012 9.23am
But the CGI looks gorgeous...
Thursday 19 July 2012 9.33am
This is an interesting idea. I'd like them to map out the entire route and then fund/build in stages (the capital cost seems reasonable and I am sure that a SWF would be interested; perhaps the Qataris who funded The Shard). There are plenty of pockets in Southwark that are effectively 'off the grid' being nowhere near a tube station and reliant on buses. The leg down the Old Kent Road could service the regenerated Aylesbury Estate/South Bermondsey, parts of New Cross and go on to Peckham. This would bring with it increased opportunities and investment.
Thursday 19 July 2012 12.45pm
This would be inkeeping with the by-law that demands Borough High Street is entirely dug up every two years.
Thursday 19 July 2012 1.28pm
What exactly are the advantages of having a tram system rather than the buses that currently ply that route?
Thursday 19 July 2012 1.36pm
Reliability, comfort, pollution, noise, efficiency, safety, speed... probably more...
Tuesday 2 October 2012 9.48am
They're putting up notices along the route:

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