THE future of the controversial West London Tram Scheme hangs in the balance after a damning report suggests a major re-think.

The Transport Committee of the London Assembly is expected to agree the final draft report on the £650 million tram scheme at a transport meeting at City Hall tonight.

The report raises concerns for the business case, fears over increased traffic along residential streets and is calling on further exploration to an alternative to the tram.

Roger Evans, deputy chair of the Transport Committee, said: "The report reflects the concerns of the committee that Transport for London (TfL) really fails to convince us of the positive case for the tram.

"In particular the business case for the tram and whether it justifies spending millions of pounds and the other concern is the effect it would have on traffic on side streets. Even TfL has shown that the level of traffic along side streets will go up.

"What we are saying is that TfL need to provide reassurances, particularly on traffic concerns.

"We also want to know if this scheme is value for money as there are a number of transport projects waiting to be approved and if the tram is not going to be value for money then the money needs to go to another transport project."

Penny Wark, of Save Ealing's Streets (SES), welcomed the findings of the transport committee ahead of the report being approved. She told the Times: "I am delighted that at last a group of people in authority who have studied this with intelligence and integrity have seen sense.

"They have seen it will cause difficulties for people in west London.

"They have precisely made all the points that SES has made for the past two years.

"SES has always maintained there will be increased traffic along residential streets and it's refreshing that we have support on that view."

However, three members of the Transport Committee have asked to submit a minority report in support of the tram.

Richard Barnes, one of the committee members and London Assembly member for Ealing, told the Times: "The three members of the transport committee writing this minority report have little or nothing to do with west London.

"They should leave the politics of the tram to the people it will affect every single day the people of west London."

Once approved the reports will be sent to TfL for consideration.

TfL hope the tram will carry 50 million people a year from Uxbridge to Shepherds Bush through Ealing.