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London-wide + Tower Hamlets stories

£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:

Passengers losing too many hours down the Tube

Speaking to the London Assembly Transport Committee, the Managing Director of the London Underground has publicly acknowledged that problems on the Tube over the past year have resulted in an increase in lost customer hours on almost every line.

Chair of the Transport Committee, Caroline Pidgeon AM, said:

We recognise the challenges London Underground is facing as it works to deliver an extensive upgrade programme while carrying more and more passengers, but the past year has seen an unreliable service for passengers who are exceptionally frustrated by their daily commute.

While we heard today that if you go back several years things are generally improving, the recent performance of the Tube has undoubtedly deteriorated and is not good enough.

With major upgrade work about to start on the Northern line we hope lessons have been learned so that passengers who use it will not have to deal with the levels of disruption seen on the Jubilee and Victoria line upgrades.

Greenwich Council lets down pedestrians and cyclists with yet more delays

The full reopening of Greenwich foot tunnel has been delayed once again, with users facing night time closures and no lifts throughout the Summer until September. At the same time work on the Woolwich foot tunnel, which has been completely closed since last year, is not set to be finished until August.

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, discovered this information buried away on Greenwich Council’s website. The explanation for the six-month delay to the Greenwich foot tunnel is put down on the website to “additional works and problems with materials used in the repairs.” At present, no information at all has been provided by Greenwich Council about why the works at Woolwich foot tunnel are so far behind schedule.

2012 Games transport visit

Caroline went on the new high speed train from St Pancras to Stratford International Station to see how the transport infrastructure has been completed ahead of time for the 2012 Games.

Caroline joined other Assembly members, the mayor and other officials to experience the fast train journey which will shuttle thousands of spectators when the games come to London next year.

The trip then went on the new DLR extension from Stratford International to the main Stratford station. This is due to open in July according to TfL after further test.

No grounds for complacency over transport crime

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor welcoming the latest crime figures for London’s transport network, said:

“The Mayor should not be complacent with these latest figures. Across the whole of London’s transport network there has been no uniform fall in crime – indeed in some areas levels have increased, and in some cases by a significant degree.

Mayor continues to mislead on bus crime figures

The Mayorwatch website reports on Boris Johnson's misleading claims in his election literature that bus crime has fallen by 30% across London during his term in office. In fact, the detailed statistics show that the local picture is patchy, with bus crime actually increasing in many areas.

Caroline told Mayorwatch:

Just three months ago the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority warned Boris Johnson that the way he was using the bus crime data could ‘be damaging to public trust in the statistics’.

Sadly the Mayor has totally ignored this warning and is up to his old tricks of using misleading figures. It is simply wrong to suggest that bus crime is falling across the whole of London, when in fact in more than one third of boroughs it is increasing – and in some boroughs significantly.

Even where there has been some fall in the figures there should be no grounds for complacency about the level of crime on London’s buses. Bus crime is a problem everywhere, and in far too many places it is a growing problem.

You can read the full article here.

You can also read local coverage in the Barking and Dagenham Post, in the East London Advertiser (Tower Hamlers), the Wimbledon Guardian and at the Wimbledon SW19 website.

Making London's roads safer for cyclists

Caroline Pidgeon is continuing to support action to tackle the high number of accidents and fatalities that face cyclists on London's roads. London faces an especially serious problem with accidents involving collisions between lorries and cyclists at junctions.

A recent question asked by Caroline to the Mayor revealed that in 2009 six cyclists were killed on London's roads in accidents involving a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV), and with a further two cyclists killed in accidents involving a refuse lorry and a cement mixer. In 2010 there were two cyclists killed in accidents involving vehicles and two further two fatal collisions including a skip lorry and a cement truck.

Caroline has already given her full support to the campaign by the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) for better training for lorry drivers and recently received the petition that had already gathered more than 10,000 signatures. Read more information about the campaign here.

Another day of rush hour Jubilee line chaos

The Evening Standard reports on the rush-hour chaos on the Jubilee line yesterday, with a loose screw on a platform door at Westminster causing major delays along the line.

Caroline told the Standard:

The ongoing problems and delays on the Jubilee line cannot be dismissed as isolated incidents. There is something seriously going wrong with one of London's most important transport links.

It is time that the Mayor provided proper answers and not just excuses over the running of the Jubilee line.

Mayor’s unbelievable latest broken promise over Jubilee Line

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s admission made today at City Hall that substantial improvements in capacity on the Jubilee Line will only be completed by the Autumn, said:

“Passengers will find it truly unbelievable that there is yet another delay to when the Jubilee Line will be operating at full capacity, seven days a week.

“Today’s admission is the fourth broken promise made by the Mayor as to when improvements to the Jubilee Line will finally be completed.