Ten more trams are expected to be introduced on the line in Croydon and Wimbledon before the autumn. Transport of London is willing to increase the frequency of services on the busiest route which runs between central Croydon and Elmers End.
The decision follows an increase of 45% in the annual number of passengers using the service since 2000. It is predicted the 18.6 million journeys made on the network in 2001 will increase to 27.8 million by the end of this year.
Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London’s transport advisor, said: “Ever increasing numbers are using the trams and this will help improve their access to jobs, education and leisure facilities in the south of the capital.”
Several companies have been invited to submit proposals to supply the trams. The use of second-hand vehicles modified to run on the system is being considered.
Officer for TfL London Rail, Howard Smith said: “We want to respond to the demand and ensure that London Tramlink continues to provide people in south London with a comfortable and efficient means of getting around.”
Croydon council is supporting the scheme and will decide on February 21 the capital sum to enable the purchase to go ahead.
Council leader Mike Fisher said: “Mayor Johnson recognises that extra trams will provide an early answer to capacity issues.”
The additional trams will travel approximately 75,000 km per year, and will be needed for at least 10, but not more than 20 years.
TfL purchased Tramtrack Croydon Ltd in June 2008 and it has delivered over £5m in track upgrades to improve reliability since the acquisition.