MAYOR of London Boris Johnson has backtracked on statements which indicated plans for a Tramlink extension to Crystal Palace had been abandoned.
However, he once again stopped short of committing to the extension – which he has announced on three separate occasions during his term of office, only to then go back on it.
In answer to a question from Croydon and Sutton London Assembly member Steve O'Connell on Wednesday, the mayor distanced himself from the offending part of a consultation document on proposed plans to extend the Bakerloo tube line to Beckenham.
The document, as reported in the Advertiser two weeks ago, said that in terms of the Underground extension, a tram line serving Crystal Palace and another option to Bromley would bring little benefit to the wider south-east London area.
Its blunt statement that "these extensions are not actively being progressed at this time" caused a furore locally.
Mr O'Connell expressed anger at the document's wording, with the mayor replying during his Wednesday City Hall Question Time: "I regret some of the language that was used in this consultation."
The mayor suggested the idea was "being actively progressed and considered," but he stopped short of offering any firm commitment to a Crystal Palace extension.
Mr O'Connell told the Advertiser: "I was furious before but it now seems if a proper business case can be presented for the extensions there is all to play for."