Tram services through Croydon city centre increased by 50% this week as Westfield announced a 1 billion bid to redevelop the the Whitgift centre.
The newest trams (in bright purple) will link Therapia Lane with Elmers End and the increase will mean that trams now pass through the centre of Croydon every six minutes.
The purple trams have proved popular with locals who are still voicing their excitement on Twitter.
Kathryn Quick @Kate_Q I’m on a new tram, over excitement here in Croydon
Tom Murphy@Tomeen_Murphy Just got unexpectedly excited by seeing a shiny futuristic new-style tram on Croydon Tramlink. ‘Hoh!’
Over the twelve year life of the tram, passenger numbers have increased 45% to 29 million and by the end of the year the service will increase again to improve services in Mitcham.
Since last year’s riots £16.3 has been invested in the area with the support of Mayor of London Boris Johnson. Croydon Council has pitched in with £3 million.
Boris Johnson said last week: “Fast and efficient transport links not only make Croydon a more convenient place to live and work, but also attract businesses that will deliver much-needed jobs and economic growth putting Croydon firmly on track for the future.”
Croydon Council leader, Mike Fisher, said: “These fantastic new trams are a major boost for a transport network that is the envy of London and the rest of the country and they will provide an even better service for people who live and work here.
“This year promises to be the beginning of an exciting period of delivery that will transform the way our town looks and operates – and that will service Croydon well for generations to come.’
The new trams created 20 new jobs at London Tramlink, including drivers and maintenance staff. Being 2.5m longer the vehicles have a capacity for 85 seats with space for 122 standing, with improved accessibility for passengers.
Wesfield are still locked in battle with Hammerson (who developed Brent Cross) for the re-development of the Whitgift Centre and their plans will be on show from next Thursday. EastLondonLines will be there to tell you about them.