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London-wide + Camden stories

Make cycling safe: enough is enough

Caroline Pidgeon wrote this article in the 28th October 2011 edition of Lib Dem News:

Min Joo Lee is probably not a name you will recognise. However the death of this 24-year Korean fashion student could well be starting a revolution in cycling in London and possibly further afield.

Incredibly she is the 13th person to die on London’s roads this year. In 2010 there were “just” 10 deaths. When this year’s death toll for cyclists already surpasses the figure for the last year, we should all be very worried.

Accessibility of London's transport network still falls short

The London Assembly Transport Committee has published a report in response to TfL’s new proposals on transport accessibility, showing that step-free access and other accessibility measures fall far short of the growing need for them, with half of bus stops, two thirds of rail stations, and three quarters of tube stations, not fully accessible to people with limited mobility.

The report argues for a range of measures, including low-cost steps such as allowing manual ramps, upgrading pedestrian crossings, providing better training for bus drivers, and improving online and paper maps.

Caroline puts pressure on TfL over King's Cross cycling safety

The BBC reports on Caroline Pidgeon's questions challenging the Mayor over the continued unsafe conditions for cyclists around King's Cross.

The report points out that despite TfL's claims to be actively working on improvements for all road users, the Mayor was asked about this by Caroline in September 2010 and would not commit to any action:

Question by Caroline Pidgeon on 15 September 2010

You have acknowledged that safety on the King's Cross one-way system through the boroughs of Camden and Islington needs addressing. Pursuant to your answers to MQs (1053/2010), (547/2010) and (2701/2009), can you tell me:

a) What has been the result, if any, of your discussions about "speed issues" on the King's Cross one-way system with the London Borough of Islington?

b) Whether a new design for the Caledonian Road/Pentonville Road junction is now ready, and whether this will improve road safety for pedestrians?

Four years of fare misery under Boris Johnson

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on Boris Johnson’s fare proposals for 2012, which he confirmed today will be set at RPI plus 2 per cent, said:

“This is the fourth year of fare misery that Londoners will face under Boris Johnson.

“He has already hit Londoners hard by hiking up bus fares from 90 pence to £1.30 for a single fare since he arrived at City Hall. Today’s further rise will really hit hard many people, especially those on low incomes.

“Boris Johnson has failed to tackle effective action to tackle fare evasion or cut waste which is widespread throughout TfL. If the Mayor got on top of these issues there would be no need for such severe fare rises, especially for low income Londoners.

Campaigning in the Highgate by-election

Caroline joined Lib Dems Robin Meltzer and Chris Richards and many other Camden Lib Dem members out and about campaigning in the Highgate by-election.

The team knocked on doors and chatted to local residents about many issues of concern including transport and policing.

Jubilee Line fiasco costs more and more

After years of disruption on the Jubilee Line new evidence has come to light revealing some of the real costs of the years of dragged out weekend closures.

Following extensive freedom of information requests Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, has now discovered that the costs of the weekend closures since April 2007 on the Jubilee Line include:

  • 32 million passengers being affected by the weekend closures, leading to a loss in ticket revenue of a staggering £15.7 million
  • Transport for London having to spend £13 million on replacement buses

Commenting on these immense figures Caroline Pidgeon said:

“A year ago the Mayor and Transport for London admitted that the upgrade programme on the Jubilee Line would slip once again. After years of disruption to passengers, communities and businesses they announced a further year of weekend closures which has only just finished.

The Big Switch – Lib Dems call for London’s buses and taxis to go electric

A Big Switch to electric buses and taxis can cut London’s appalling air pollution, dramatically reduce premature deaths and ill health, and help meet climate change targets. The London Assembly Liberal Democrats have put forward an ambitious programme to convert high mileage buses, taxis and light goods vehicles to electric power by 2020. The plan was launched with Caroline Pidgeon AM and Mike Tuffrey AM with support from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP.

High Speed 2 needs hard work to be made right for London

High Speed Rail has been a key policy for the Liberal Democrats for many years, as part of our plans to reduce domestic flights and get people out of their cars and onto rail. The Government has recently consulted on its plans for High Speed 2. As Liberal Democrat Spokesperson, Caroline has responded to the consultation.

In addition, the London Assembly Transport Committee held a hearing in July to hear from all sides about High Speed 2 and its impact on transport in London, as well as carrying out site visits to Euston and Old Oak Common.

It is clear that should High Speed 2 go ahead, a lot of investment will be needed in London’s transport infrastructure, including a new tube line, if London is to cope with the potential increase in passengers.

Assembly Transport Committee will review bank card payment plans

The London Assembly Transport Committee is reviewing TfL’s plans to make London the first city in the world where contactless payment is available on the entire transport network – starting with buses from spring next year.

The Committee will assess the benefits and the risks of using contactless bank cards to pay for travel, both for passengers and for Transport for London. TfL expects contactless cards will be cheaper to operate than Oyster, but the Committee will investigate security concerns that have been raised.

Chair of the Transport Committee, Caroline Pidgeon AM, said:
“Transport for London has big plans for the future of ticketing in the capital, but any changes must be geared towards increasing convenience and value for passengers.

“Security is also an issue. The use of contactless bank cards will be seen as a step forward by some people, but others may be reluctant to flash their debit or credit card at a ticket gate.

“We will review the benefits and risks of TfL’s short and long-term ticketing plans to ensure they are right for London.”

£18m cost of buses during tube and rail closures

The Evening Standard reports that Transport for London has spend £18 million over the last year in providing replacement buses during Tube, DLR and Overground closures due to engineering work.

Caroline Pidgeon told the Evening Standard: