All political support for the West London Tram is gone after a unanimous vote by Ealing Council to reject the £650 million scheme.

In a U-turn last night, the newly elected Conservative council withdrew its backing for the proposed tram link between Uxbridge and Shepherd's Bush.

Ealing Council now joins Hillingdon, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea in their opposition to London mayor Ken Livingstone's controversial plan.

The tram would carry about 44 million people a year for 13 miles along the highly congested Uxbridge Road.

Proposals include closing parts of Ealing Broadway town centre, Shepherd's Bush Green and central Acton centre to through traffic. Trams would also share single lanes along the busy Southhall Braodway and Hanwell Bridge.

Residents worry that the tram would increase jams and force traffic into small side roads unable to handle the trough fare.

59% against tram

Last year 59% of the 17,000 people who took part in a public consultation - the largest ever held by Transport for London (TfL) - were against the tram. But the mayor dismissed the results as "unscientific".

Instead, Mr Livingstone fell back on a "representative" poll of 1,100 west Londoners questioned in their homes. One in five opposed the tram, while 54 per cent backed it.

"The tram is hugely unpopular with residents, despite what any TfL poll might say," said Ealing Council leader Jason Stacey.

The previous Labour administration in Ealing, which supported the tram, lost the borough to the Conservatives in the recent local elections.

At a council meeting last night, opposition parties backed the Conservative motion to oppose the tram.

"We are changing the council's policy to reflect what we believe are the true views of Ealing residents, and for the good of the whole borough," Mr Stacey said.

"We will stand shoulder to shoulder with our neighbouring boroughs and do whatever it takes to see off this ill-thought out scheme."

The council disbanded the team of consultants which was working with TfL on the plan. It also requested Hillingdon and Hammersmith & Fulham to pool resources in the faight against the tram.

Ken pushes on

Mr Livingstone is still pushing ahead with the project. The population in west London is growing rapidly," he said earlier. "Improving public transport is key to ensuring local people can get to jobs and services swiftly and easily."

TfL is currently reviewing traffic management issues brought up in the public consultation. The board will decide this summer whether to apply for powers to build the tram.

If the transport secretary makes the final decision for the scheme to go ahead, a public inquiry would follow in spring 2007.

Building work would only start in 2009 to finish in 2013.