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River Thames is a great opportunity for transport

The River Thames is a forgotten highway, a tube line effectively, across the centre of London and yet under-resourced in terms of transport.

In January, the London Assembly Transport Committee is looking into river transport services - so Caroline and other Committee members spent a chilly morning in early December out and about on the river with Thames Clippers from Putney to Erith, looking at the challenges and opportunities to really expand river transport services for Londoners.

London roads must be safer for cyclists

Writing for the London24 website, Caroline Pidgeon addresses what needs to be done to make cycling in London safe:

Firstly, we must recognise that the primary cause of cycle fatalities is lorries colliding with cyclists.

The Mayor has announced some limited proposals, including training advice for cyclists, but it is only a start.

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.

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.

The Mayor doesn't take river transport seriously

Commenting on the plan for a three month closure of Greenland Pier in Rotherhithe - used by many commuters for the Thames Clippers ferry service, Caroline Pidgeon said:

People always overlook the river. It's such an important means of travel for so many people and this pier closing for three months is really bad news.

It shows the Mayor doesn't take river transport as seriously as others do.

How do the passengers get around while these works are on? They wouldn't close a Tube or rail station without making adequate provisions.

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.

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:

8 million passengers overcharged on Oyster - every month

Following on from extensive work by Caroline Pidgeon on Oyster overcharging, London Travelwatch have now looked at the issue and discovered that 8 million passengers are overcharged every month.

The Evening Standard covers the story here, and discussed the situation with Caroline:

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