EXTENDING Croydon's tram network will depend on proving the economic benefits of any schemes, Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said.
The mayor was responding to an open letter from Richard Plant, chairman of the Develop Croydon Forum, who called for the extension to Crystal Palace to be funded in the latest Transport for London (TfL) Business Plan.
The plan does include proposals to enhance existing services to Wimbledon, but fails to give any firm commitment to extensions.
In his response to Mr Plant, the mayor wrote: "I am keen to see the extensions to the Tramlink network go ahead but, as you will appreciate, funding is the main obstacle to delivery given the many competing demands for funding which TfL is faced with.
"TfL is working closely with the London boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Merton and Sutton to assess the potential economic benefits of these options in terms of their contribution to employment and economic growth and to examine the extent to which funding from future development could be available to fund these schemes.
"This work started in January and is due to be completed in June."
Mr Johnson added in his letter to Mr Plant that some short to medium-term enhancements to Tramlink had been included in the draft business plan.
He said: "£30million has been allocated to removing sections of single track, building an additional Tramlink platform at Wimbledon and the purchase of four new trams.
"These improvements will increase capacity and enhance reliability on one of the busiest sections of the Tramlink network, and will facilitate the extension of Line 4 services – Elmers End to Therapia Lane – to Wimbledon."
The Develop Croydon Forum is a group of businesses, partners, agencies and individuals which aim to collectively promote Croydon as a location to invest, work and live.