Dismayed that tram plan is still alive despite the objections

Transport for London, would you believe, have not given up and are still seeing the Somers Town tram link as a real possibility! This is despite the discussions I had with the TfL engineers and the site tour I gave them two years ago with local residents,

Transport for London, would you believe, have not given up and are still seeing the Somers Town tram link as a real possibility!

This is despite the discussions I had with the TfL engineers and the site tour I gave them two years ago with local residents, to show them clearly how the tram link devised by TFL and Ken Livingtone to go through the narrow streets of Somers Town would go past schools, a play group, narrow streets and pedestrianised areas put in for the safety of local residents and children.

It is despite the 100 per cent opposition to the link shown by the residents at the demonstration last year at Somers Town Community Centre of models showing option two - putting the tram through Polygon Road past Age Concern; down Chalton Street, along Phoenix Road, over the pedestrianised Brill Place and back via Phoenix Road with a narrow part leading to Evrsholt Street past two schools and a church.

I met them again this week with TRA representatives and they could only refer to some MORI poll where a few said they thought the Somers Town tram link was good! They now intend, despite the meetings held last year, to have another meeting in 2008 to get the residents to consider the Somers Town link.


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There is, I reminded them, intense opposition to the link, so what about the other option to go down Crowndale Road straight to the Eurostar station? No, they said, they would be looking at the Somers Town link again!

TfL frankly just ignore any local opinion. If 100 per cent opposition was indicated clearly last year, surely that is enough.

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The Greater London Asssembly reject it; the environment sub group of Camden Council rejected it; the people rejected it; that GLA members reject it and I have been told time and time again that the Somers Town Link will not go ahead, but TfL could not care less.

They don't care that it would go past Age Concern in Polygon Road and stop elderly people being taken there for lunch and rest; that it would destroy the pedestrianised area put up for the school children outside St Aloyisius school; that it would go past the front gates of Monica Shaw court to the detriment of elderly people coming out from the estate; that it will destroy pavements; and the pedestrianised area at the Brill; and possibly buildings; stop any activites for parishioners at the Roman Catholic Church; that it would end residential and disabled parking; and maybe lose shops in Phoneix Road; and certainly end any activities for the annual Somers Town Festival of Culture at the junction of Phoenix Road and Chalton Street; that it would go past schols and a playgroup with 20 journeys an hour each way.

This may be a fight to go on for another 10 years and I will do my best while a local councillor to stop the wretched idea of a tram link in Somers Town until I retire; but I think local Somers Town residents should be on their guard to make sure this tram link doesn't come about.

I am in favour of tram systems but not through narrow streets like Somers Town and not if it harms our community.

Cllr Roger Robinson

St Pancras and Somers Town Ward

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