Trams are back, despite Brian Coleman's outburst

ONCE again the fatuous and hopelessly out of touch windbag Brian Coleman, Tory London Assembly Member for Camden and Barnet, has opened his mouth and, as one expects, put his foot in it ( Tramline project gathering speed , Letters, Feb 26). His ignorance

ONCE again the fatuous and hopelessly out of touch windbag Brian Coleman, Tory London Assembly Member for Camden and Barnet, has opened his mouth and, as one expects, put his foot in it ("Tramline project gathering speed", Letters, Feb 26).

His ignorance of the real world is really astounding. "Trams are yesterday's news and they do not belong in Barnet. The whole thing is bonkers," he says about the proposed Brent Cross railway network. So, indeed, Mr Coleman, are you.

Precisely why do you think trams (or light rail to give this method of transport its proper term) are a roaring success in Croydon, south London, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, and shortly to be introduced in Edinburgh, with other schemes on the drawing board - all recent developments after initial post-war scrapping? This apart from vast and updated and extending systems in Holland, Belgium, France and, indeed, all over Europe.

They are being brought back because in brief, the modern light rail version is quick to accelerate, fast, efficient, quiet, environmentally friendly and helps to keep more polluting cars and buses off the road, being capable of mass transport of large numbers of passengers, including the old, infirm, mothers with buggies, etc, facilitated by step-free access and raised pavements or platforms level with entrance doors.


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And if Mr Coleman cares to open his blinkered eyes and look at a map of London railways, he will see that most of the proposals around the Brent Cross area use mainly existing freight lines or run parallel to passenger lines and do not require additional construction on roads.

His anti-public transport view is well known. As a car loving politician, he is notorious for racking up the highest taxi bill in London at our expense, this on allegedly official duties when there is a perfectly good public transport service. And if he doesn't agree with that statement then he should be using his influence to help improve it.

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As anyone who has tried to use the Brent Cross car park knows, the traffic in that whole area is a nightmare and, with the proposed massive development there and the planners' expectation of 29,000 extra vehicles movements a day (sic), anything to reduce this is surely welcome.

But with his fellow Tory, Mayor Boris Johnson, who has scrapped the imaginative cross-London tramlink planned to connect with the Croydon network, after a great deal of expenditure on planning it, and an ideal project to relieve the vastly overcrowded Northern Line, nothing should surprise us any more.

Perhaps he also wants to scrap the Croydon system as "yesterday's news"? (like him). The sooner he departs and saves us paying his taxi bills, the better.

JOHN STRATTON

Thurlow Road, NW3

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