Boris Johnson visits Croydon to see new trams
Mayor of London Boris Johnson, is visiting Croydon this morning to inspect the first of six new trams.
The trams are set to join the London Tramlink fleet, with the first tram expected to be in service by the end of the month, with all six in operation by the summer.
The Mayor will see the trams being tested at the Therapia Lane Tramlink depot and will take the tram on a test run.
A £16.3 million investment in the new trams form part of a wider regeneration of Croydon, which is being supported by the Mayor.
The new trams will help reduce congestion on the busiest parts of the tram network, approaching East Croydon and West Croydon stations.
More than 28 million passengers use the tram network each year, a 45 percent increase since its opening in 2000.
Once all six trams are in service, passengers will benefit from a new direct service between Therapia Lane and Elmers End, and up to four extra trams an hour.
This will mean ten trams an hour at peak times for passengers travelling on the Elmers End route.
Mr Johnson said: "My focus in Croydon is on delivering the long term improvements that will support jobs and help make it a better and more prosperous place to live, work and invest in.
"Trams are the cornerstone of the local economy and the superb new additions to our fleet will help deliver the better and more frequent services local people deserve.
The new trams boast more space, air-conditioning and are equipped with better accessibility and safety features.
Mike Fisher, leader of Croydon Council which put £3m into the £16.3m deal to buy the new trams, said: "This is a major boost for a transport network that is the envy of London and it comes during a period where there is tremendous pressure on public finances, which demonstrates our commitment to this project.
"The tram network has proved to be a huge hit with the many thousands who use it on a daily basis. It's fair to say that at peak times during the day, it has become a victim of its success.
"These new trams will ease that burden, providing an even better service for the network's customers and help ensure its continued success into the future."