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London-wide + Tower Hamlets stories

Save our London neighbourhood policing

The London Assembly today urged Mayor Boris Johnson to halt his plans to dilute police Safer Neighbourhood Teams and recklessly close police front counters across London.

The Assembly's motion calls on the Mayor to retain the existing neighbourhood policing model of a dedicated sergeant, supported by two Constables and three Police Community Support Officers, allocated to each ward in London.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who seconded the motion, said:

“Londoners value their local police stations and the local, recognisable police teams dedicated to serving their ward. Shutting up cop shops to public access and destroying the local policing model risks setting policing back more than a decade and separating the police from their communities.”

Housing at the Olympic Park

Caroline Pidgeon AM recently visited the Olympic Park to meet with the London Legacy Development Corporation and to see first hand the plans for new housing and the conversion of the existing housing in East Village, the flats used by athletes during the 2012 Games.

"It was good to see so much progress and to hear the plans going forward. I would however like to see a lot more social and genuinely affordable housing in the next phases of housing" commented Caroline.

Mayor should admit he is decimating Safer Neigbourhood Teams

Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s response today to her questions about the future of Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) across London, where he failed to recognise that there would be a reduction in dedicated police officers for each safer neighbourhood team, said:

“The Mayor should come clean with Londoners and admit that he is decimating the current and successful model for safer neighbourhood teams.

Mile End plans offer little for cyclists

Proposed improvements to the Mile End Road and Burdett Road junction are totally inadequate and fail to provide any significant benefits for cyclists, claims Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and chair of the London Assembly’s transport committee.

Responding to Transport for London’s (TfL) consultation on the review of this junction, which is part of a wider exercise to review the safety of 100 junctions across London for cyclists, Caroline Pidgeon said:

“Quite frankly these proposals appear to be the weakest plans to have emerged from TfL’s junction review so far. The introduction of mandatory cycle lanes is welcome, but there is little else that will benefit cyclists. Indeed some of the changes will make the junction more intimidating and potentially even more dangerous."

Greenwich tunnels - still appalling

Speaking to the Evening Standard about the long delays and cost escalations in refurbishing the Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels, Caroline Pidgeon said:
"It is time Greenwich council admitted exactly why the budget has gone through the roof and the tunnels are still in such an appalling state."

Read the full article here.

Cycle safety visit to Bow

Caroline visited the Bow Roundabout on Friday afternoon as part of a Transport Committee visiting looking at cycling in London and how to make it safer. Last year there were two tragic cyclist deaths at the roundabout. Transport for London has put in some new measures to try to make the junction more negotiable for cyclists.

"It was interesting to see the junction and see how it is being used in practice compared to seeing the computer modelling and the paper drawings. The innovation at TfL did not seem to work as well in practice and
pedestrians are all but forgotten at this junction. I hope we can put pressure on Department for Transport for more creative signalling solutions so that this and other areas can be made far safer for vulnerable road users," commented Caroline.

Jubilee Line needs urgent action as reliability falls

Commenting on another major disruption to the Jubilee line during the rush hour on 22nd March, Caroline Pidgeon said:

"This line is critical to ensuring London keeps moving during the Games, but far from seeing improvements, reliability has been falling.

"The Mayor and Transport for London need to detail actions that will be taken in the next three months to turn this round."

And just 4 days later, hundreds of passengers had to walk out of a broken down train and through a darkened tunnel to safety.

Caroline said:

Greenland Pier boat service campaign - update

Local Liberal Democrat Councillors Lisa Rajan, David Hubber, Paul Noblet, Simon Hughes MP and myself have been inundated with emails from concerned passengers in Surrey Docks about the future of Greenland Pier. This also affects people who use the service and live just over in Lewisham.

We held a meeting on Monday morning with Gill Davies, Southwark Council's Director of Environment and Leisure. Our main aim for the meeting was to get Southwark Council to stop the temporary closure of the pier on 28th February, and instead keep it open for the Thames Clippers boats to use. We know how vital and valued the commuter boat service is and how many people rely on it. We also wanted to ask for a temporary pontoon to be installed if the existing one really does need to be removed for repairs.

We divided the pier issue into two parts - the immediate future, following the official Notice to Quit served on Thames Clippers, and the longer term future of the pier.

As far as the immediate situation is concerned, the Notice to Thames Clippers was, we were told, a legal requirement to enable the pier to be inspected and repaired as necessary. Thames Clippers should be granted a temporary licence to enable them to continue to use the pier until such time as it may be removed temporarily for any works. We have stressed that there should be no discontinuance of the service on 28 February, nor until it is essential for the pier to be closed, and we were led to believe that this would be the case. We also asked that users should be given one month's notice before the pontoon is actually removed.

Bow roundabout plans are just a first step

Speaking to the road.cc cycling website about TfL's initial plans to improve safety at Bow roundabout - a notoriously dangerous junction for cyclists - Caroline Pidgeon commented:

These improvements are only a first step - they must be followed through with a much bigger plan of work to improve safety and access for pedestrians as well.

Read the full article here.

Time for honesty over Jubilee line fiasco

As news emerges that TfL has had to pay £25m to the company that owns Canary Wharf in compensation for the major delays to the Jubilee line upgrade, Caroline Pidgeon commented:

"Users of the Jubilee line have faced years of misery as the upgrade programme over-ran. To learn now that millions of pounds has been shelled out to Canary Wharf Group, while passengers have not been compensated, adds insult to injury.

"It is time the Mayor and TfL were honest with Londoners over the real cost of this long-standing fiasco. We are entitled to know the details of every penny that has been spent."

You can read full coverage in the Evening Standard, the Docklands & East London Advertiser and the Wharf website.

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