A tram running along the Uxbridge Road between Uxbridge and Shepherd's Bush.
One of four "intermediate mode" schemes floated by TfL (the others being Cross River Tram, East London Transit and Greenwich Waterfront Transit), the West London Tram has now been scrapped following the announcement of funding for Crossrail, which serves the same corridor. Instead, TfL will work with the three boroughs along the route to work up a series of bus enhancements to link into Crossrail stations Press release. Therefore the text below is for reference purposes.
207 bus at Shepherd's Bush, proposed to be replaced by the tram
The Uxbridge Road (which also has various other names along its route between Shepherd's Bush and Uxbridge) is a very busy bus corridor, served by both an all-stops articulated bus route (207) and an express double-decker bus route (607) along its entire length, along with a number of other buses.
The tram was the subject of much controversy amongst residents' groups, and is now opposed by the councils of all three boroughs that the route passes through (Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing, Hillingdon). The scheme would see 44m passengers per year.
Approximately half the route is dual-carriageway (mostly the portion west of Southall) - one lane was to be taken for the tram (and could be used by buses).
Tram priority & controversy
There are two issues which have caused significant controversy over the scheme - the arrangements for construction and the requirement for priority for trams throughout the route.
The construction would take four years and would require a number of sites along the route for storage of equipment. Suitable locations for these sites are limited and therefore often the most suitable places are on parkland - for example, on the west side of Shepherd's Bush Green. A number of permanent electrical substations would also need to be built. The locations of the construction compounds and substations are detailed in TfL's 2005 consultation; Save Ealing's Streets have a response to this.
Tram priority would be introduced at the majority of junctions on the route. This has led to some controversy as private vehicle access could be severed or rerouted down side roads at key points; this has led to vigorous anti-tram campaigning by residents' group Save Ealing's Streets, countered by pro-tram campaigning from West London Friends of the Earth. TfL have now reduced the number of road closures to one - at West Ealing.
West Ealing road closure
At West Ealing, The Broadway is too narrow to segregate the tram from other traffic and therefore it is proposed to close The Broadway to all but trams, buses, taxis, cycles and access (loading & unloading) traffic.
Private traffic would be rerouted eastbound via Eccleston Road, Singapore Road and Green Man Lane. Westbound traffic would use Leeland Terrace and Coldershaw Road.
Road closure & diversions in West Ealing, from TfL consultation document (PDF)
There would be 41 stops along the WLT route, including stops in centres at Uxbridge, Hayes, Southall, Hanwell, Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush (terminating by the new White City development, in a stop adjacent to the new West London Line station there). Trams would run every 3-6 minutes (every 3 minutes between Hayes Bypass and Shepherd's Bush (20tph), and every 6 minutes between Uxbridge and Hayes Bypass (10tph)) and would replace the current 207/607 bus routes, with alterations in other bus routes to take into account the tram.
A turnback siding would be available between Ealing Common and Twyford Crescent tramstops for trams from either direction to turn back early if necessary.
All of the route would be street-based, unlike the existing Croydon Tramlink. This would have impacts for road traffic along the whole Uxbridge Road. Much of the route would have dedicated tram & bus lanes.
Depot & Southall Gas Works Branch
The depot would be located on the southern edge of the Southall Gas Works site, some distance from the tram line itself. Access would probably be via a line along the side of A312 The Parkway (the Hayes bypass) although it could also be along Springfield Road.
A passenger service might be possible along this branch to the depot if development works progress at the gas works site, but it is not considered for the initial service. The gas works development's central boulevard will also be wide enough to accommodate a future tram service. [Southall Gas Works]
TfL are now considering some other passenger-carrying options for depot access. These include a route down Coldharbour Lane to Hayes & Harlington Station (which would then run alongside the Great Western railway line to the depot), or a route via South Road to Southall Station and then alongside the railway to the depot.
Route in detail
Thanks to an external contributor for this.
Passive provision has been made in the Southall Gasworks development area for a branch to Southall station, dependent upon Crossrail. Such a branch would run from Uxbridge Road at the Hayes Bridge Depot site through the depot and gasworks area and underneath South Road, terminating next to Southall station.
The Mayor has aspirations for the WLT to eventually run as far as Tottenham Court Road in the east, taking in Notting Hill, Bayswater and Oxford St along the way.
TfL have said that planning of the West London Tram scheme is still going ahead despite new opposition from Ealing Council.
The new administration of Ealing council have unanimously voted to oppose the West London Tram. The decision is a result of the election of a new Conservative-controlled council, and of a change in opinion by the remaining Labour members of the council. The council voices fears over rat-running of traffic along side streets because of increased congestion caused by the tram along the Uxbridge Road.
Following the publication of detailed plans for electrical substations and work sites for the West London Tram, Hammersmith & Fulham Council is now against the scheme and the London Assembly member for Ealing & Hillingdon has called on Ealing Council to withdraw its support for the scheme.
Ealing Council have voted in favour of promoting the West London Tram scheme, despite opposition by some local residents.
TfL have been accused of "smoke and mirrors" over their recent survey regarding the proposed West London Tram scheme. Although a majority of respondents to an earlier public consultation expressed opposition to the scheme, a later survey showed a majority support and was said to better represent the public's views, as the consultation was said to have attracted more opponents to the scheme. However, it recently emerged that small samples of the population in the survey areas further away from the scheme area were considered statistically insignificant.
The TfL consultation on the West London Tram showed that 59% of consultees opposed the scheme, yet TfL market research showed 54% in favour. The Mayor believes that protestors are more likely to respond to the consultation, and that the market research is more representative - so the scheme is likely to be refined following issues raised in the consultation before being taken forward.
A report from the London Assembly's transport committee for TfL's consultation has come out unconvinced of the case for the tram - although three members of the committee have asked to submit a "minority report" in favour of the tram.
The West London Tram consultation reached its conclusion on Friday with the results likely to provoke controversy. Opinions in West London have been deeply divided over the new scheme which would improve upon bus services and attract drivers out of their cars, but would also require road closures and compulsary purchases.
TfL has decided that it prefers a depot site south of the Uxbridge Road in Hayes, between the Yeading Brook and the Grand Union Canal, to a previously mentioned site at Southall Gas Works. The latter site would have required a tramway running through Minet Country Park.
Members of the London Assembley's transport committee are touring locations along the proposed route over the next week ahead of a stakeholder and expert meeting at City Hall next week.
The West London Tram consultation process is half-way through, with 12,600 people having responded so far. "Roadshows" continue at a variety of locations throughout West London until 8 October.
Two rallies were held in Ealing on Thursday - one in favour of the West London Tram by Friends of the Earth, and one against it by Save Ealing's Streets. Some 1,100 people attended to find out why the project is controversial.
Anti-tram pressure group Save Ealing's Streets have voiced concerns that the estimated £648m cost of the West London Tram will escalate into billions, and are concerned that money to cover some running costs is unaccounted for.
Consultation has begun by TfL on the West London Tram. Londoners will be asked for their views on the project over the next three months. Information is available in 10 languages from TfL or at www.tfl.gov.uk/westlondontram.
Research by an independent polling form for the GLA has shown 56% support the West London Tram versus 32% against out of 1,800 interviewed. The Mayor defended the criticised TfL consultation procedure at yesterday's Mayor's Question Time.
Lobby group "Save Ealing's Streets" have said they will officially oppose the West London Tram - claiming that Transport for London is not listening to their concerns. They are worried about traffic diverting down residential streets due to a number of permanent closures of the Uxbridge Road for the tram.
Pressure group Save Ealing's Streets are not satisfied that TfL have been listening to their concerns over closures of the Uxbridge Road in the West London Tram scheme. They claim that few improvements have been made to the scheme in response to criticism from the group.
Residents' group "Save Ealing's Streets" have expressed their disappointment with the TfL consultation on the West London Tram, saying that the designers have already selected their own preferred options.
Following consultation with the local authorities concerned, TfL now has a revised proposal for the West London Tram which it will put forward to the public during three months of public consultation from June.
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