There are "no short term plans" to create a tram extension linking Merton with Sutton and Tooting despite claims it will be of "huge benefit" to the area's economy.

Merton Council leader Stephen Alambritis has joined the leader of Sutton Council in lobbying Transport for London (TfL) to back the scheme, which he said could be a reality within two or three years.

A proposal released last week suggests new lines on the Tramlink service, which currently runs from Wimbledon through Merton Park, Mitcham and Croydon, could expand it to take in Sutton and Tooting.

Under the neighbouring borough councils' plans, an extension could see Mitcham Junction station linked to Tooting via Mitcham town centre. Councillor Alambritis said extending the route "will be a huge benefit to many businesses and residents".

However, a spokesman for Wandsworth Council told the Wandsworth Guardian: "The council supported proposals in 2003 to extend the tramlink to Tooting Broadway, subject to full public consultation on the details. We have also urged TfL to investigate bringing tram services to Earlsfield, Wandsworth and Clapham Junction.

"However, TfL have made it clear that in the short term at least, there are no plans to extend tram services to these destinations."

At Mitcham Junction station last Thursday Coun Alambritis signed a joint statement with the leader of Sutton Council, Sean Brennan, pledging to push TfL to support the plan - starting at a meeting with commissioner Peter Hendy on September 30.

A TfL spokesman said: “TfL and London Tramlink have always worked closely with the boroughs in which their services run and we are always seeking ways to improve those services, funding permitting.”