Beneficial effect of Croydon Tram, general improvements and typically 14% reduction in road traffic in other cities

Trams reduce road traffic on average by up to 14%: the Croydon tramlink experience is that a modal
shift from car use as high as 20% can be achieved. 24 – Source


Breakdown of above figures

Mode Users Survey Trips transferred
Bus 69% 9,316,271
Car as driver 16% 2,160,295
Car as passenger 3% 405,055
National Rail 7% 945,129
Walk 4% 540,074
Other 1% 135,018
Total 100% 13,501,842
However, the tram does seem to have done good things for the area, and it carried 7 times the number of passengers than the rail route it replaced. But the majority came from the buses.

The Croydon Tram has had these benefits according to the above paper:


1.15 Conclusion and lessons for future systems
As expected Tramlink’s impacts as perceived by stakeholders are varied and
very difficult to quantify. However it is clear that it has had the following
• Radically improved orbital access across South London;
• Markedly raised the profile of Croydon but not other centres served by the
• Assisted in attracting high profile inward investors to Croydon;
Urban Transport X, C. A. Brebbia & L. C. Wadhwa (Editors)
© 2004 WIT Press,, ISBN 1-85312-716-7
880 Urban Transport X
• Facilitated some commercial development along the route;
• Attracted young professionals to the area leading to a slight increase in
property prices;
• Made recruitment marginally easier and improved productivity through
better punctuality;
• Improved the job prospects of the unemployed residents of New Addington;
• Improved the accessibility of the mobility impaired and socially excluded
especially in New Addington and to a lesser extent at Phipp’s Bridge;
• Maintained footfall in central Croydon during major retail redevelopment;
• Enabled the upgrading of a number of retail outlets within Croydon; and
• Benefited the residents of the areas it served broadly in line with their age
and gender, that is, the benefits have not been biased towards any particular
It has, however, had less of an impact on other centres such as Wimbledon
but it has not led to the downturn of smaller centres which was a concern when
the system was being planned and built.
To maximise the benefits of future systems, besides ensuring that it offers a
high quality transport service and integrates to other transport systems, the areas
to be served need to ensure that:
• They use the goodwill and feel good factors generated by new light rail/tram
schemes to aggressively market their areas;
• Training schemes are put in place to enable residents to take up the
employment opportunities that become available to them through improved
• The system is highly visible and associated stops are of a high quality; and
• Planning policies facilitate appropriate residential and commercial
developments around tram stops.
[1] Crocker, S. et al. Monitoring

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