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South London train passengers have suffered enough – reverse cuts for access improvements

South London train passengers have suffered enough and should not face further delays to access improvements to train stations, is the message that Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon has sent to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport.

Just before Christmas and so far unnoticed by most people the Government finally admitted that they were delaying the installation of lifts and other vital access improvements to 26 train stations across England and Wales, seven of them in south London alone.

Garden Bridge Trust accounts confirm why the project must now be cancelled

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the publication after much delay of the Garden Bridge Trust accounts. said:

“Even advocates of the Garden Bridge with rose-tinted glasses will find these accounts incredibly concerning.

“The Trust has finally admitted what most people have long expected was the case - that the final cost of the project is likely to increase substantially above the current £185 million predicted cost.

Campaigning to improve the A23 in Streatham

Caroline Pidgeon joined A23 campaigners in Streatham on Thursday 13th October to discuss a range of issues on Streatham High Road from dangerous driving by motorcyclists, to the need for safe pedestrian crossings and a much better environment in the area. Caroline then did a walkabout from the South Circular to Streatham Station to look first hand at concerns.

“It is clear that having a fast dual carriageway through the heart of Streatham is damaging to the local community. With some investment, particularly at the Streatham Hill end of the High Road and better planning for pedestrians and cyclists along its length, the High Road can be transformed to help strengthen the Streatham Community and green the area” commented Caroline.

Personal interests overcame serious concerns about the Garden Bridge

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the National Audit Office's inquiry report into the funding of the Garden Bridge, said:

"This report is clear evidence that the Department of Transport had its arm twisted into supporting the Garden Bridge by George Osbourne. From the very outset personal interests overcame serious concerns about value of money for the taxpayer.

The Mayor must protect taxpayers from bailing out the Garden Bridge

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the Mayor’s announcement that he has appointed Dame Margaret Hodge to conduct a review into the Garden Bridge said:

“I welcome this latest review into the Garden Bridge which I hope will pick up from the excellent inquiry undertaken by the London Assembly. However the Mayor cannot hide behind this latest review as an excuse for not taking any action.

Train service issues at Denmark Hill

Caroline Pidgeon AM met with Lib Dem Cllr James Barber, and Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Dulwich and West Norwood Gail Kent on 9th September to look at issues for passengers at Denmark Hill.

Amongst the issues are the lack of gates on the gate line resulting in serious delays for passengers and the need for an additional ticket machine.

TfL should take over Southern Rail

As the Southern Rail situation gets worse and worse for passengers, Caroline Pidgeon told the SWLondoner website that both management and unions have failed and a change in control is needed:

The dispute over conductor-free trains has reached a point where it does not matter what assurances Southern offer because the RMT union is now striking for the sake of it.

I am hugely concerned about the additional stress this is having on London.

You see the stress on passengers’ faces and it’s not good enough.

Garden Bridge Trust is avoiding questions about its funding

Speaking to the Guardian about the the five-month delay by the Garden Bridge Trust in publishing its accounts, Caroline Pidgeon said:

“I suspect that the Garden Bridge Trust is using administrative tidiness as a desperate excuse to postpone publishing their accounts.

Mayor should do what is right and stop the Garden Bridge

Writing at the "Bridge Too Far" website, Caroline Pidgeon describes the compelling reasons to cancel the Garden Bridge project:

Caroline concludes:

It is regrettable that the last Mayor devoted so much of his time to lobbying and secretly fundraising for the Garden Bridge. There are so many other projects he could have backed which would have delivered real benefits for Londoners.

Campaigning in Herne Hill to save live music venues

Caroline Pidgeon spoke at a campaign rally in Herne Hill to save our live music venues. Music iplays a huge role of our cultural scene in London. Music tourism alone generates more than £650 million per annum for the London economy, and more than 3.3 million tourists visited London in 2015 for music specifically. In fact, the O2 Arena in London sold more music tickets in 2014 than any other venue in the world.

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