Trams link

PUBLISHED: 10:55 12 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 May 2010

SIR - Great news that the Abbey Line is to be converted from train to tram operation, subject to a 12 week consultation and agreement between all parties. Let s hope this scheme goes ahead unlike the Croxley Link LTP1 major project which continues to dr

SIR - Great news that the Abbey Line is to be converted from train to tram operation, subject to a 12 week consultation and agreement between all parties.

Let's hope this scheme goes ahead unlike the Croxley Link LTP1 "major project" which continues to drag on. However unlike the Croxley Link, this scheme is already an operational railway, and pressure to cut costs and improve frequencies in future may see this scheme pushed through against the odds, as conversion works should be fairly minimal.

We could see new low cost tram stops at Watford Asda and Cottonmill Estate, but Park Street or How Wood are lightly used on a par with Bayford which is a rural halt, and end to end times are also important for through travel to London, etc.

The Abbey Line is one of 53 national comunity rail lines which could all go over to trams or tram trains as soon as 2014 to cut costs and secure their future. This should be part of the next government's rail strategy for a national high speed rail network to cut airport and motorway expansion and delays, and have Thameslink and Crossrail projects up and running to provide a longer distance higher frequency 'South East Metro' service.

It is likely that second hand re-conditioned trams may be used initially to get the service up and running, with new purpose built ones added later on as demand grows. There will also be a number of spin off benefits, such as a reduction in road congestion and accidents between a very busy Watford and St.Albans, plus some regeneration, improved access and connectivity to intermediate areas, which will be fully realised when the Croxley Link and Bakerloo Line also come to Watford Junction by 2020.

PAUL SPELZINI

Potters Bar and St Albans Transport User Group

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