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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.

TfL must prove its motivation on yellow box junctions

The Evening Standard reports on accusations by motorists' groups that Transport for London is using fines for violating yellow box junction rules as a means of revenue raising rather than a genuine traffic control measure.

Caroline told the Standard:

TfL has clearly been ratcheting up its enforcement of yellow boxes. If it believes its actions improve the flow of traffic it needs to start providing evidence of this.

Until then the accusation that it is primarily using the yellow boxes as a cash cow will certainly resonate with motorists across London.

You can read the full article here.

Also, in a followup, the revelation that over £1m in fines were charged at a single box junction in Highgate last year has been covered in the Evening Standard and on the Highate People website.

More underhand fare rises from the Mayor and TfL

The BBC reports on the 5% rises that Transport for London has imposed on off-peak Railcard fares without warning.

Caroline told the BBC:

Boris Johnson has real form in pushing through fare rises in an underhand way.

He has already been caught red handed over his attempt to sneak through fare rises as high as 74% by abolishing Zone 2-6 Travelcards this year.

I am not aware of previous mid-year fare increases and think it is extraordinary that this has been sneaked out.

The mayor should publish his fare proposals for all fares for the year ahead and fully consult Londoners on his plans.

South West Trains passengers must wait months for Oyster top-up

South West Train passengers may face a wait of many more months before they can finally obtain Oyster top-up from station ticket machines in the London area, Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, has been informed this week.

Both South West Trains and Transport for London declared back in November 2010 that by May 2011 all ticket vending machines within the London Travel zone would allow passengers to top-up their Oyster cards. The latest delay has been explained as being due to technical problems facing Cubic, the technical supplier of Oyster to Transport for London. At present South West Trains are unable to give any indication to Caroline Pidgeon as to when the technical problems will finally be resolved.

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.

Lift the harsh cycling restrictions in Regent's Park

Caroline Pidgeon is calling for a review to be undertaken of the cycling restrictions that exist across London's Royal Parks.

At present cycling is severely restricted in most of London's Royal Parks (see the extensive restrictions here) - especially in Regent's Park, where cycling is only permitted on the northern section of the Broad Walk, between Chester Road and Outer Circle. Incredibly, such restrictions exist despite the provision in the park of docking stations for the Transport for London's bike hire scheme!

Commenting on the current situation, Caroline said:

"Pedestrians should always have first priority when it comes to pavements, and it is absolutely vital we curb the menace of the small minority of cyclists that ride on pavements on London's streets. However parks are a totally different matter!

Caroline supports petition to safeguard cyclists from lorry dangers

The London Cycling Campaign took their campaign for safer roads directly to City Hall this week. Their petition calling for local councils across London to provide cyclist awareness training for lorry drivers, was jointly presented to Caroline Pidgeon and London Assembly Members representing all the other main political parties. The LCC petition, which has more than 10,000 signatures, has now been sent onto the Mayor of London.

Commenting on the need to make London's roads safer for cyclists, Caroline said:
"Cycling in London needs to be made far safer. More than one cyclist a month dies on London's roads - that is a shocking figure and is unacceptable."

Mayor must get on top of the cable car project

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s reply to her question at today's Mayor Question Time, asking when the Thames cable car will be open to passengers, said:

"For the Mayor to state that the cable car will be completed when 'it’s good and ready' is totally unbelievable.

"It is simply staggering that the Mayor is throwing around £57 million of public money at the Thames Cable Car yet is totally incapable of giving any assurance as to when it will be open. The Mayor should get on top of this flagship project.”

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.


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