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'Show more ambition': Sutton to review tram extension funding as Mayor calls on council to pledge more money, Sutton Guardian 24th January

Sutton Council will review how much more money can be contributed to the tram extension as the project hangs in the balance.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, will look to the borough to provide more money and to Transport for London (TfL) growth fund to improve Sutton’s transport links, after he withdrew the £100m previously allocated to the scheme by previous Mayor, Boris Johnson.

The growth fund has about £200m that can be funnelled into projects across the capital and has was recently invested into the Barking Riverside extension.

Sutton Council has pledged £46m towards the extension before the Mayor withdrew the previously allocated money. 

Based on 2015 estimates the extension from South Wimbledon tube station to Sutton railway station would cost £330m.

A further extension to the planned site for the London Cancer Hub, in Belmont, would cost an additional £100m, leaving a shortfall of £354m.

Mr Khan told Sutton Council to show "more ambition in relation to money" and added that new housing could be a way to “maximise capital investment” into the project during Mayor’s Question Time at London City Hall on Wednesday, January 18.

A Sutton Council spokesman said: "Sutton and Merton have offered a significant funding contribution for the Tramlink extension. However there still remains a funding gap.

“The borough of Sutton, the borough of Merton and officers from TfL and the Greater London Assembly (GLA) are actively working in close collaboration to review the available funding structures."

During the meeting Steve O’Connell, GLA member for Croydon and Sutton, said: “Mr Mayor, you mention the growth fund in totality has £200m that is to serve all of London’s needs.

“It beggars belief that we can look in substance to the growth fund to contribute towards a scheme that is £330m."

Mr Khan said: “There is no reason why Sutton couldn’t get that money. It’s also important for Sutton to look to how they can make the sums up.

“There needs to be more contribution in terms of going towards a Sutton tram extension, but there is money in the £200m growth fund and we’re willing to help them get there."

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