Boris Johnson was in Croydon today to inspect the first of six new trams which will service the Tramlink.
The new trams were built by Swiss manufacturer Stadler in its German factory in an order worth £16.3m. The purchase was supported by a £3m contribution from Croydon Council.
Council leader Mike Fisher said: “The tram network has proved to be a huge hit with the many thousands who use it on a daily basis. It’s fair to say that, at peak times during the day, it has become a victim of its success.
“These new trams will ease that burden, providing an even better service for the network’s customers and help ensure its continued success into the future.”
Transport for London says one of the new trams “is expected to be in service by the end of the month, and all six by the summer.”
On his visit Mayor Johnson said: “Trams are the cornerstone of the local economy and the superb new additions to our fleet will help deliver the better and more frequent services that local people deserve.”
However the number of new trams and the deployment schedule have been scaled back since TfL first announced the shortlist of companies bidding for the contract.
Last March the capital’s transport authority announced plans for “up to ten more” trams which it suggested “could be in service in just under a years time.”
Commenting on the reduce number of trams, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon said: “instead of visiting Croydon and boasting about six new trams the Mayor should now come clean and explain why he has broken his pledge to deliver 10 new trams.
“Once again we see a huge difference between what Boris Johnson promises and what he actually delivers.”