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South West Trains agree to fix Vauxhall signage

Incorrect zone signs at Vauxhall train station will now be changed by South West Trains, following intervention by Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport Spokesperson and Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee.

After being contacted by a local resident Caroline contacted South West Trains to inform them that despite Vauxhall station being a Zone 1 / 2 station the new signs at the station were stating that the station is exclusively a Zone 1 station.

Explaining why correct signage is important Caroline said:
“Vauxhall train station is a Zone 1 / 2 station which means passengers travelling from the outer zones into central London can often pay a lower fare if they change from rail to the tube at Vauxhall, instead of travelling through to Waterloo.

Boris's island airport is dead in the water

Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, commenting on the opposition from the world’s leading airlines to Boris Johnson’s plans for a Thames Estuary Airport, said:

“This must be the final nail in the coffin of Boris Johnson’s ridiculous proposals for an airport in the Thames Estuary.

“Boris Johnson has managed to create the most incredible coalition opposed to this airport stretching from David Cameron and the world's leading airlines right through to all the political parties in Kent and environmental groups such as the RSPB.

“It is time that he listened to the voices of all sensible people on this issue and just admitted once and for all that the Thames Estuary Airport is dead in the water.”

Oyster passengers overcharged £500,000 a month

In an article for the Lib Dem Voice website, Caroline Pidgeon describes how anomalies in the Oyster card system result in Londoners being overcharged by £500,000 a month when they travel on National Rail services:

This week at City Hall I was accused by Boris Johnson of being a “negative Liberal Democrat” when I dared to question him over some of the problems that have happened as a result of the extension of Oyster Pay as You Go to national rail services across London.

Well I stand by my questioning of the Mayor as there is no doubt that a huge number of Londoners are not getting the best deal that Oyster could deliver. There are serious anomalies in how the system operates, and the full benefits of the technology are simply not being delivered. Most significantly many people using Oyster on the trains, whether they are Londoners or visitors, are being overcharged, sometimes by quite large amounts. This January alone it is estimated that 32,000 passengers were overcharged a total of half a million pounds.

Read the full article here.

Caroline backs court challenge over Heathrow third runway

Caroline Pidgeon has backed a High Court action launched by local authorities, green groups and residents' groups, challenging the government's decision to approve a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow Airport.

The coalition’s lawyers will be claiming in court that the consultation process was fundamentally flawed, that the decision to expand Heathrow is at odds with the UK’s overall climate change targets, and that the number of measures introduced to pass the plans through Parliament mean the expansion is fundamentally different to the proposals on which the Government consulted the public in 2007. The Transport Department’s lawyers are now claiming the new measures were not part of the decision to expand Heathrow.

If the coalition wins, the decision to proceed with the runway may be overturned.

Crossrail is vital but needs to learn lessons

The London Assembly Transport Committee has launched a new report, questioning the sums Londoners are paying for the Crossrail project, and criticising the way compulsory purchases of businesses and homes have been handled.

In the report, 'Light at the end of the tunnel', the Committee recognises the value of the £16bn rail link project, which will bring an extra 10% capacity on London’s overcrowded rail and Tube network, thousands of new jobs and a massive boost to the national economy.

However, it questions the fairness of Londoners contributing the majority of the funding, when 8 of the 37 stations are outside Greater London, and the project is expected to generate £22bn for central government over the next ten years. It also points out Crossrail's poor handling of displaced businesses and residents whose premises are compulsory purchased to make way for construction work, especially in Soho.


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