A ROW over access to private land has delayed the opening of part of Croydon's £200M tram network by nearly two months.
The section of the tram network from Birbeck to Beckenham Junction has been delayed by a dispute between tram owner Tramtrack Croydon Ltd and the residents of a block of private flats in Beckenham.
The residents are refusing to allow TCL to run power cables to a tram link substation through the private land, which falls outside the scope of the Croydon Tramlink Act enabling legislation.
TCL chairman Bob Dorey admitted: 'The original plan had been to open the whole system on November 4. But the last bit to Beckenham has been delayed. We are talking weeks rather than months and we expect the last section to open in December.'
TCL took resources from the Blakeny Road substation and used them on other parts of the scheme until the dispute was resolved. Dorey said this had added to delays on that section of the project.
However, local sources doubted that TCL would meet the revised dates. One said: 'Many of their dates have slipped. I believe the Birbeck to Beckenham section will not open until early next year.'
Dorey denied this and claimed TCL would announce firm opening dates in August.