LONDON-London is to gain two new tram lines at a cost of £500 million ($725 million). Unveiling the projects, Mayor Ken Livingstone said they would aid regeneration of run-down areas of the capital and help encourage commuters to abandon their cars.

The West London Tram Scheme will run from Uxbridge to Shepherds Bush via Acton, Ealing, Hanwell and Southall town centres. The route which is expected to be completed by 2009 will carry 50 million passengers a year and cost approximately £200 million ($290 million)

And the Cross River Tram Scheme will run from Kings Cross and Camden, via Euston and Waterloo, to Peckham and Brixton. This route which is expected to be completed by 2011 will carry 72 million passengers a year and will cost approximately £300 million ($435 million).

London already has one successful tram system. Croydon Tramlink opened two years ago at a cost of £200 million ($290 million) linking Wimbledon, Croydon and Beckenham in south London. It has succeeded in reducing traffic congestion in central Croydon by 6%.

Livingstone said: “People have been talking about these schemes for seven years; I am going to implement them. The West London and Cross River Trams will provide faster and more reliable public transport in these heavily congested areas of London.”

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