Tram backtrack

Mayor Boris Johnson is overturning Ken’s plans for trams in Oxford Street, to the delight of residents
Mayfair and Soho residents were delighted this week to hear that Mayor Boris Johnson does not favour the idea of a tram to replace the buses along Oxford Street.

Ken Livingstone and the commercial property owners who make up the New West End Company liked the idea.

Last December, the former mayor commissioned an architect to draw up a feasibility study.

The new mayor has now commissioned a pan-London review of all the tram schemes currently on the drawing board, and has made it known that he does not like the Oxford Street scheme.

The tram is strongly opposed by Westminster City council, whose former leader, Sir Simon Milton, is now Boris’s senior planning advisor.

Speaking about the tram in 2006, Sir Simon said: “Westminster proposed a tram scheme 20 years ago but was beaten by the costs and the logistics; there was nowhere else for the traffic to go.

“The position hasn’t changed today. In fact, it has got worse.”

No alternative solution has ever been found to the 19 bus routes travelling along Oxford Street, which has dense residential neigbourhoods to both the north (Mayfair) and the south (Soho).

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