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RNIB backs campaign for accessible crossings

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is campaigning for all pedestrian crossings in London to be made accessible to people with visual handicaps. At present - as highlighted by Caroline Pidgeon's investigations - there are 347 crossings that still do not meet minimum standards of accessibility.

Caroline commented:
"It is shocking that in the year 2012 so many pedestrian crossings are unsafe for so many people."

"I have long called for the minimum safety standards to be met at every pedestrian crossing across the whole of London. The RNIB campaign has my total support."

You can read more here on the RNIB website.

Mayor still will not give timetable for dangerous junction review

The King's Cross Environment blog covers this week's Mayor's Question Time - where under questioning from Lib Dem London Assembly Leader Caroline Pidgeon, Boris Johnson would give no commitment to a timetable for reviewing the most dangerous junctions for cyclists.

Blogger William Perrin comments:

The Mayor (and also Chair of TfL) is questioned by Caroline Pidgeon AM about his sudden conversion to cycle safety, from 40 minutes in. Caroline Pidgeon AM gently mocks the Mayor’s giant flip flop on a review. But despite repeated questioning the Mayor gives no timetable for his review of dangerous junctions. At 43:30 she tried to pin the Mayor down to specific actions, timetables and commitments from his panicky review – but the Mayor just dodges sideways refusing to give any hints on a time table or guarantees that work will happen following the review.

Read the full article here.

And you can watch the webcast of Mayor's Question Time here on the London Assembly website - Caroline Pidgeon's questions start at around 43:30.

Routemaster admission exposes the Mayor's real record on buses

Commenting on the news that the introduction of Boris Johnson's replacement for the Routemaster bus has again been delayed, Caroline Pidgeon commented:

"We were promised that the new Routemaster bus would be up and running in 2011, but the harsh reality is that just one of these incredibly expensive buses will be on our roads before this summer. This latest admission exposes once and for all Boris Johnson's real record on bus services.

Save Sydenham Police Station

Caroline Pidgeon, along with Brian Paddick, the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London, and local London Assembly candidate John Russell, joined members of the Sydenham Society to campaign against the planned closure of the local police station.

London Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate Brian Paddick and Lib Dem London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon joined London Assembly Constituency candidate for Lewisham and Greenwich, John Russell and the Sydenham Society, the Forest Hill Society and local residents on Saturday the 18th of February to campaign against any closure of Sydenham Police station.

TfL admit King's Cross junction does not meet safety standards

As a result of questions asked to the Mayor by Caroline Pidgeon, Transport for London have admitted that a large junction at King's Cross does not meet their own safety standards, and refused to answer on why they have done nothing to comply with those standards.

You can read full coverage on the King's Cross Environment blog.

And on the same blog, you can read about Caroline's continued scrutiny and Boris Johnson's complacency on cycle safety issues.

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.

TfL needs more than just tough talk on bus fare evasion

As the Mayorwatch website reports, the Mayor's "New Bus for London" shows signs that it will suffer from no less fare evasion than bendy buses did, with three separate doors.

Caroline Pidgeon commented:

Given that fare evasion stands at £63 million, it is time the Mayor stopped just talking tough on fare evasion and actually adopted some tough measures. His new London bus with its three sets of doors, will effectively be the new ‘free bus’ in London unless its conductors actually check people’s fares.

Read the full article here.

Tiger's Head junction work to start this year

The Catford Central blog reports that TfL will start work this year on improvements to the Tiger's Head junction - and highlights Caroline's questions to the Mayor that prompted TfL to finally take action.

Read the full article here.

Cyclists facing feast or famine in search of hire bikes

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group has exposed key failings in the way the London bike hire scheme is performing.

The failings, which could be holding back the success of the scheme, include:

  • A widespread failure in the allocation of the bikes across the docking stations, making it difficult for people to either hire a bike, or return a bike at the end of a ride. Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show that in November 2011 there was on average 27 docking stations in London that had no bikes available for hire for between 6 to 8 hours each day. At the same time there were 31 docking stations that had no spare spaces for people to dock their bikes for between 3 to 6 hours each day.
  • Internal Transport for London reports also obtained by the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly have highlighted other problems with the scheme, which include:

Seven week holiday for fare dodgers

Despite hiking up fares at the start of 2012 the Mayor has delayed his plans to get tough on fare evaders, reveals Caroline Pidgeon, the leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

In August 2011 Transport for London started a consultation proposing to increase the penalty fare on all TfL services to £80 with the proposed introduction date for the new rate being the 2nd January 2012. On the 29th November 2011 the Mayor of London then signed a Mayoral decision which again stated that the increased penalty fare would start from the 2nd January 2012.

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