A direct link between Sutton and Wimbledon could become a reality with a tram extension – but commuters will have to wait at least seven years for it.

The tram extension has been on the cards for the borough for more than 20 years, and it’s been five years since feasibility work started.

Sutton residents had the chance to ask questions and hear more about the plans at a Sutton Local Committee meeting on September 6.

If plans are approved work will get underway in 2022 and the tram would be up and running in 2025.

If the trams are chosen after a public consultation they could run every four to eight minutes from Sutton to Wimbledon.

Sutton resident Emily Brothers said: ”I think there is overwhelming support for a tram but I think what has been frustrating for local people is a lot of procrastination – talk of a tram seems rather fictitious.

“Can I ask what Sutton Council has committed to the project and what might be the implications to the taxpayer and business rates?”

Transport for London (TfL) has committed £70 million to the scheme another £30 million split between Merton and Sutton councils.

Daniel Doris, major scheme project manager at the council, said: “That is not diverting funds away from existing services – it is very much uplift.”

He added that some of the finds could be raised through the extra council tax that would be collected because of new houses built due to the tram.

In October, an eight-week public consultation is due to kick-off with three shortlisted options.

The first is the Sutton to Wimbledon tram and the second two include "bus rapid transit".

With option one the existing Thameslink rail line would be converted into a tram. This would involve changing the power supply and modifying platforms.

Options two and three would run mostly on street with buses running in designated lanes.

Some residents raised concerns that trams running along some roads would create congestion.

Bur Mr Doris was adamant that its introduction would actually reduce traffic. “It will give people an alternative choice other than driving,” he said.

“In Croydon, 20 percent of people got out of their cars and got onto the trams so there could be a lot less traffic.”

After an initial consultation this winter there will be a second consultation next summer on the preferred option.