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TfL are still in denial over Oyster overcharging

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, commenting on new proposals from Transport for London to allow Oyster card users to check their accounts online and to allow Oyster customers to submit refund applications online, said:

“These improvements are welcome and indeed long overdue. Last year alone passengers using Oyster Pay As You Go were wrongly charged maximum fares totalling over £66 million.

Shame of empty buildings owned by TfL in Catford

Speaking to the South London Press about a row of homes in Catford which Transport for London owns but has left empty since 1987, Caroline Pidgeon said:

It is shameful these publicly owned properties have been empty for 25 years. Not only has this been a terrible waste of public money, but the properties are a complete eyesore. It is time TfL stopped making excuses.

You can read the full story here.

Welcome improvements at Abbey Street - but much more still to do on cycle safety

After lobbying from local MP Simon Hughes and Caroline Pidgeon, Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, TfL have now started work to improve the junction at Abbey Street, where cyclist Ellie Carey died in a collision with a lorry last year.

TfL has now told Ellie Carey’s father Allister in an email that work is about to start to provide advanced stop lines for cyclists at the junction. Trixi mirrors, which allow lorry drivers to see cyclists waiting at traffic lights, will be installed on the Tower Bridge Road by the end of May. This comes after Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Norman Baker MP changed the rules to allow trixi mirrors to be installed by local authorities without permission from the Department of Transport.

TfL also said that they would be holding a full consultation on proposals for an improved scheme for cyclists and pedestrians at Abbey Street later this summer.

Oyster overcharging costs passengers millions - again

Passengers using Oyster Pay As You Go were ripped off by many millions of pounds last year at tube and train stations across the capital.

Passengers wrongly faced maximum fares for their journeys at every London Underground and National Rail station, with the weekly amount of incorrectly charged maximum fares exceeding more than £1 million.

Across London Underground, National Rail network stations, the DLR and London Overground stations, the total amount of maximum fares charged reached a staggering £63,950,000 in 2011.

Cable car is an impractical way to spend taxpayers' money

Speaking to the Guardian about the costly project to build a cable car link from North Greenwich to the Royal Docks, Caroline Pidgeon said:

"While the cable car will be an attractive addition to London's skyline I question whether it will provide a practical transport link for many people on a daily basis."

Charlie Brown's roundabout needs urgent safety action

Caroline joined local Councillors Ian Bond and Gwyneth Deakins out and about in Redbridge on Saturday. The team met local residents and highlighted the terrible problems crossing the main road by the Charlie Brown Roundabout. Cllr Richard Hoskins and other local residents and campaigners joined the team to support the crossing campaign.

Speaking to the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian about TfL's failure to install pedestrian crossings and traffic lights at the roundabout, Caroline said:

"People shouldn't have to take their lives in their hands just to get across the road. It's absolutely staggering.

"We need to make sure something is done urgently to make it safe. The crossing needs to be up to minimum safety standards and this is a big issue at this election for me."

Read more here in the Wanstead & Woodford Guardian and in the Yellow Advertiser.

What does "free" Tube wifi really mean for passengers?

Tube stations across London will soon start to provide access to mobile internet services at the platform level ahead of the 2012 Games. The initial roll-out will deliver free unlimited Wi-Fi at 80 stations for all Tube passengers. Connectivity will not be available in the tunnels.

Caroline has raised concers that whilst it is being extended to 120 stations by the end of 2012, it appears that passengers will only be able to use this service for free if they are on a Virgin media contract. The costs if you are not on a Virgin media contract remain unclear.

Lib Dems help fundraise for Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith

Caroline recently joined Liberal Democrat mayoral Brian Paddick at a fundraising event for the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith. She was also joined by Steve Bradley, a Liberal Democrat London Assembly candidate and Lambeth Councillor.

A year ago the centre was struggling to raise funds to buy the premises in which it is situated. Now following a grant by the Irish Government and other fundraising the management of the centre are planning to demolish and totally rebuild the facility, including residential housing.

A full report on plans for the centre can be seen at the Shepherd's Bush blog.

Oyster overcharging scandal continues

Caroline continues to urge both the Mayor and Transport for London to address the issue of Oyster overcharging, which still affects many honest passengers, especially by train and tube.

The Evening Standard recently reported that in 2011 the level of "incomplete" journeys was £66.5 million, compared to £63 million in the previous years.

Although some minor changes have occurred to the way Oyster operates the Mayor and TfL have failed to address the main causes of Oyster overcharging, which is when every passenger is automatically charged the maximum fare, which regularly occurs when the machines are not operating or the stations are very crowded.

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:

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