Tramlink is much less intrusive than conventional railways as it does not need wide sections of segregated track. Trams can climb steeper gradients and handle tighter curves. This means they can fit round existing buildings and spaces. Long stretches of the routes use converted railway tracks, reducing the need for new construction.
One of the outstanding features of Tramlink is the quiet and smooth running of the trams. Powered by electricity wires overhead, modern trams generate none of the engine noise of other vehicles. Wheels are lubricated to reduce squeaking. At the depot, all practical steps have been taken to meet the 1990 Environmental Pollution Act.
Existing types of transport are significant sources of air pollution. Although the electricity generation needed for trams has the potential to create air pollution, this is subject to strict government controls. Trams themselves do not emit fumes or pollutants.
Flora and fauna
In building the Tramlink system, we have kept disruption to wildlife to a minimum. Where trees had to be removed, replacement planting formed part of the landscaping works.
Soil and archaeological surveys
Any soil brought into the Addington Hills area is similar to existing soil to ensure that 'alien' material is not imported. We're also re-establishing areas of heather which have been smothered by recent tree growth.
Wessex Archaeology carried out an archaeological impact study to identify and protect all known or suspected remains along the routes.
Discussions were held with wildlife groups and the Joseph Firbank Society on the most appropriate ways of protecting badgers living along the route. Badger tunnels and badger proof fences ensure that badgers can cross safely and with ease.
Open space for Croydon
Croydon Council established two open spaces to replace land used by Tramlink:
Stroud Green Well in Shirley: This five acre site was once a playing field but had become overgrown. It was cleared and opened to the public.
Threehalfpenny Wood: Six acres previously known as Addington Soakage Field were transformed and opened to the public.