AIR TERMINUS PLAN DROPPED.
TOO EXPENSIVE: £1,000,000 INVOLVED.
It is understood that the Air Ministry has now abandoned definitely the scheme to replace Croydon aerodrome as the London Air terminus by another and more central site.
After searching the surroundings of London the only credible alternative has been found to be Mitcham Common. The local authorities here, however, would definitely oppose any scheme to turn this Into an aerodrome. It would necessitate diverting the Croydon Corporation tramways, which connect with Tooting by way of the common, and would also necessitate the removal of Tooting Bec golf course, which is one the wealthiest and most popular courses in South London.
A new site would have to found for the club and Mitcham residents would require a corresponding piece of common land that which they would asked to vacate. Moreover, Mitcham Common is in the river fog area, which Croydon just escapes. It would cost the Air Ministry about £1,000,000 with the compensation money and the money they would have to spend in equipping Mitcham as an aerodrome, building sheds, cleaning and levelling, and installing lights, etc. For a quarter of that sum the present Croydon terminal could be made the finest aerodrome in the world, and the only advantage of Mitcham would be the saving of fifteen minutes car journey between the heart of London and the aerodrome.
As the air journey saves several hours to passengers coming from the Central European towns, this is merely a negligible saving.
If it is found necessary, however, to save these minutes, the terminus can move after March 30 next to the Aircraft Disposal Co.’s site on the Waddon side of the aerodrome, where there is already a railway siding.
By arrangement with the railway company electric trains could run on to the aerodrome from Victoria in 20 minutes.
This is the only possible solution of the problem, and the Air Ministry will almost certainly adopt it.
Note that the Tooting Bec golf club had previously been on the land that became the Links Estate.