The Department has not received any bids for funding an extension to the Croydon Tramlink.
The Department for Transport provides substantial funding to Transport for London in the form of a block grant. My Department’s funding for TfL has risen dramatically since 2000, more than doubling to just less than £3 billion in 2009-10 and rising to £3.3 billion next year. That funding is not ring-fenced to specific projects, and it is for the Mayor and TfL to prioritise spending to deliver transport services in London as they see fit.
The Minister is right. Substantial moneys have been given for investment in public transport in London, but the Crystal Palace extension, which was on the agenda under Ken Livingstone’s mayoralty, offered the prospect of regeneration for deprived parts of my constituency. Traders in Upper Norwood strongly support such a scheme, and there is close to unanimous support in the community. Is it time for the Government, Transport for London and the Mayor to get together to try and get the scheme back on the agenda?
I know that the hon. Gentleman’s constituents always watch Transport questions. If they are not doing so, it is important that he reports back to them the bad news that the current Mayor’s business plan for 2009 includes no proposals for the Croydon Tramlink. In his draft transport strategy, the Mayor mentions the extension of Tramlink after 2020, with no commitment to any additional funding. One of the downsides of voting for the present Mayor is that areas such as Croydon are neglected.