EXPOSED: Hated tram work is still going on

SECRET work on a tramline once planned for Somers Town has been carried out by Transport for London, despite promises the scheme had been scrapped

Katie Davies

SECRET work on a tramline once planned for Somers Town has been carried out by Transport for London, despite promises the scheme had been scrapped.

Surveyors were spotted around Phoenix Road and Eversholt Street making measurements for the Cross River Tram, even though Ken Livingstone said it would be held up until 2020.

For years opposition groups fought against the scheme.

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Somers Town councillor Roger Robinson said: "The surveyors were out last week. I asked what they were doing and they told me it was for the tram.

"I am fed up of being pushed around. Why won't they give us a direct answer on it?

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"They told us it would be 2020 before they could start and that we would have a consultation next year before anything else, but now we have this. The council's highway department says it doesn't know anything about the surveying. It's very sneaky.

"We have had meetings and meetings, and every time local people have said they are opposed to it. The fact they keep pushing ahead despite telling us otherwise makes me concerned they are just trying to wear us down."

Aimed at easing congestion, the Cross River Tram would run from Peckham up to Camden Town.

The only other possible route taking the tram through Camden would avoid Somers Town going up Crowndale Road instead, and surveyors were also said to be examining that route last week.

Brian Coleman, London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden, has been critical of the tram scheme which would cost £600million. He said the secret surveying was, if not underhand, a waste of more taxpayers' money.

"This is total madness by Transport for London," he said. "Time and again the residents of Somers Town have said they do not want this Tram and TFL's own information has indicated it has been kicked into the long grass.

"Why are they wasting more of our money on carrying out this pointless survey? Clearly TfL has an alternative agenda - they must come clean with what the plans are."

A spokeswoman for the transport body confirmed the work was taking place in order to avoid time delays further down the line.

"The Cross River Tram should be built in two phases with the southern part the first to be built. Nonetheless, surveying work is taking place along the whole of the possible route," she said.

"The earliest any part of the tram could be built is 2016. However funding to build the scheme has yet to be identified."

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