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Update on major tram line proposal expected 'in August' as interest grows for cross-Thames line

PUBLISHED: 15:44 06 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:49 06 July 2017

Could the popularity of tram lines such as Berlin's arrive in north Kent?

Could the popularity of tram lines such as Berlin's arrive in north Kent?

Armin Staudt

The tram line could connect Grays in Essex with Ebbsfleet, Dartford and Gravesham

Ongoing plans to put a £600million tram line across the river Thames into north Kent could be submitted for approval in the new year, a campaigner has said.

Three tram lines have been drawn by by Gordon Pratt from London and Southern Counties Railway Consortium as an alternative to the £6billion Lower Thames Crossing, the first of which could connect Grays in Essex to Bluewater shopping centre in Greenhithe, with a number of stops within Ebbsfleet Garden city.

The two remaining lines would go from Grays to the proposed London Resort theme park in Swanscombe with the final line connecting the proposed theme park to its car park.

Mr Pratt is currently working with LSRC on delivering a new train line connecting Brighton and London and feels a public tram line in north Kent could tackle the ongoing traffic problems at the Dartford Crossing, with traffic expected to rise with the introduction of the Lower Thames Crossing in the Gravesham countryside by 2026.

This week CEO at Ebbsfleet Garden City Paul Spooner said he found the proposals “interesting” but was awaiting more detail as he told of us plans to expand the Fastrack bus service.

Last week campaigners held public meetings in Gravesend and Essex to discuss proposals with residents on both sides of the water.

James Willis, who is supporting tram line proposals with Mr Pratt, said: “Following recent meetings we are hoping to put out a feasibility plan with more facts and figures in August.

“After that we will await the results of the expected London Resort consultation, which we encourage people to respond to.”

London Resort Company Holdings is expected to put in a planning application to build its theme park on a 900-acre site in the Swanscombe Peninsula, which could be up and running by 2022.

Mr Willis added: “We are working hard to gain backing from Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, London Resort Company Holdings, councils and residents.

“We have already received positive feedback from stakeholders on both sides of the water, and all being well we hope to submit planning permission for the project some time in the new year.”

The campaigner remained confident the project could find financial backing, with cost figures expected to be released next month.

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