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S.J. Parascandolo


Tramlink Opening

Special Reports!

Posted: Monday 8th May 2000 (22:50)

Official Press Release on The Opening
Released by Tramtrack Croydon Ltd, 8th May 2000

Tramlink Announces Opening 10th May 2000


The driver who drove one of the last Croydon trams back in 1951 will be close to the driving seat when the first of London’s new trams start carrying passengers on 10th May.

Fred Roberts who was just 33 when crowds gathered to bid farewell to trams in Croydon nearly 50 years ago, will join the Mayor of Croydon, Dr Shafi Khan, in opening the first phase of Europe’s most modern light rail system, the £200 million Tramlink.

Along with some of the key figures who have helped develop the project over the last decade and dozens of community representatives, Fred Roberts will be on board the first tram.

Passenger services will start at 1pm – with Tramtrack Croydon Ltd.(TCL) celebrating the event by offering free travel for the remainder of the opening day.

TCL, the consortium who have the concession from London Transport to design, build and operate the system promise the launch of the New Addington branch will be followed shortly by two other services from Beckenham and Wimbledon. When fully open the 28 km environmentally-friendly network is expected to carry more than 20 million passengers in a year and save 2 million car journeys.

TCL chairman Bob Dorey said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be opening for public service. It has been important to get everything right for launching a safe and reliable service and now we can start demonstrating what the latest state-of- the-art public transport can do for passengers in south London.

‘I particularly want to pay personal tribute to Croydon Council and London Transport for having the vision to promote Tramlink and, to London Transport for arranging the concession to build and operate the system. My thanks go also to the many teams under the control of Amey and Sir Robert McAlpine who have designed and built the system ready for our operation; to Bombardier Transportation who supplied the trams and to First Group who are our operators.’

Clive Hodson, LT Project Director with responsibility for Tramlink said ‘I am delighted that the first stage of Tramlink is opening today and I am quite sure it will be a huge success in this important part of London. It will provide fast, fully accessible journeys and will be crucial to persuading people out of their cars and on to public transport.

‘The key to its success will be its integration with bus services, including the dedicated Tramlink feeder services, the National Rail network and the Underground. It is a fine illustration of what can be achieved when central and local government, transport authorities and the private sector act together in partnership’

Croydon Council leader Hugh Malyan said ‘ Already there are encouraging signs that Tramlink is becoming a catalyst for new economic investment as well as being a vivid symbol of confidence in Croydon’s progress at the start of the millennium. The extensive green landscaping that has grown up as the tram route has been built is brightening the appearance of the borough and, in the central area, the trams have added to the colourful continental feel of the place with its busy pavement cafes and buzzing atmosphere. However, I am particularly pleased that the first people to benefit from this huge investment will be the residents of New Addington. People can be proud of the Council’s foresight in helping to bring to the borough a congestion-busting environmentally friendly form of public transport that will reinforce the town’s leading position in the south east.’

Two Tramlink feeder bus services will start running from New Addington to Addington Village Interchange from Thursday 11th May, the first full day of tram operation. Route T31 will run from Vulcan Way via King Henry’s Drive, Homestead Way, Overbury Cresent, Parkway, King Henry’s Drive, Goldcrest Way, Headley Drive, Merrow Way, Fieldway and Lodge Lane. Route T 32 will run from the New Addington (Parkway) Tram Stop via Central Parade, Arnhem Drive, King Henry’s Drive, Goldcrest Way, Headley Drive and Lodge Lane. Through single tickets will be available for transfer to and from the trams at no extra charge for the bus journey.

Express bus X30, which runs from New Addington to West Croydon, will no longer run after 10th May. Feeder bus T 31 will be extended to Forestdale, Courtwood Lane, from 20th May when other bus services in the area are revised.

- Ends -

For Information: Tramtrack Croydon Limited (TCL)

Tramtrack Croydon Limited (TCL)
TCL was been awarded the 99 year concession for the design build and operation of the Croydon Tramlink system in 1996. TCL is a consortium with six corporate shareholders, each providing loans and equity investment.

First CentreWest - the Operators
First CentreWest, a subsidiary of FirstGroup plc are experienced bus operators within the London area, providing bus services under contract to London Buses on certain routes. First CentreWest has set up a subsidiary company - First Tram Operations Ltd (TOL), which is responsible for operating and maintaining the Tramlink system under a 30-year contract to TCL. TOL’s activities are mainly based at the new depot near the Therapia Lane tram stop which houses workshops, the control centre and administration offices, as well as acting as the base for drivers.

Bombardier Transportation - the Tram Suppliers
Bombardier is responsible for supplying and maintaining the 24 light rail vehicles for the Croydon Tramlink scheme. The design for this vehicle has been based on Bombardier’s existing design for the city trams in operation in Cologne. The vehicles feature low level access, modern interiors and a high passenger capacity.

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc
The Royal Bank of Scotland played a significant part in negotiating loan documentation, as well as providing private sector funding, in conjunction with an international syndicate of banks.

3i - Project Finance
3i are providing a loan facility, as well as bringing a wealth of private sector financial experience to the project.

Sir Robert McAlpine/Amey Construction Ltd
The two companies, which together form the Construction Joint Venture (CJV), are long-established British companies with particular experience in heavy civil engineering (Sir Robert McAlpine) and road and railway construction and maintenance (Amey). The CJV have, in conjunction with other specialists, designed, constructed and installed the infrastructure. This includes the track, bridges, cuttings, embankments and other civil engineering structures; overhead line equipment, stops, electricity sub-stations and traffic signals.

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