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Put a bit of fun back into the cycle hire scheme

As 101 yellow Cycle Hire bikes arrive to celebrate July's Tour de France stage in London, Caroline Pidgeon has called for the Mayor to "put a bit of fun back into the cycle hire scheme" with more themed bike designs.

"Rather than meeting every corporate wish of Barclays, more varied bike designs could attract far more people, and especially tourists and visitors, onto the bikes", said Caroline.

Mayor's water cannon decision is misguided and ill informed

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s statement today that he will be seeking a formal request to the Home Secretary to arm the Metropolitan Police Service with water cannon, said:

“This is a foolish and misguided decision by the Mayor of London.

"Step-free" stations fail for 9000 hours a year

After a formal question to the Mayor by Caroline Pidgeon AM, Transport for London has admitted that "step-free" stations had a total of 9000 hours of lift failures in 2013 - as well as 500 hours of unplanned closures due to staff shortages or emergency cleaning.

The worst-hit station was Westminster, with over 2000 hours of lift failures.

Caroline commented:

Garden Bridge must be a safe cycling route across the Thames

As Boris Johnson admitted he "doesn't quite know what the point of the Garden Bridge is", London Assembly Lib Dem leader Caroline Pidgeon AM commented:

“This is the latest strange comment by the Mayor over the Garden Bridge.

“As the Mayor has agreed to spend at least £30 million of London taxpayers' money on this project he should at least ensure that it operates like a proper bridge.

Stop the secrecy over cycle hire funding

Speaking to the MayorWatch website, Lib Dem London Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon had called for the Mayor to publish complete details of the funding that TfL has received from London boroughs, Barclays and others for the cycle hire scheme over the last four years.

Caroline said:

“Getting to the bottom of how the cycle hire scheme has actually been funded has been a continual battle. Over the last four years there has been far too much confusion and secrecy over the sponsorship deal.

Residents' cable car discounts - welcome but not nearly enough

Speaking to the Wharf newspaper as Transport For London announced discounts for Newham and Greenwich residents on the Thames cable car, Caroline Pidgeon said:

"Providing cheap travel on the cable car for Greenwich and Newham residents is obviously welcome news for people that live in these two boroughs, but this latest development will not be sufficient to turn around the dismal passenger figures for people using the cable car.

Oyster card overcharging reaches £60m

Responding to figures showing that passengers were overcharged £60m on Oyster cards last year due to "incomplete journeys", Caroline Pidgeon commented:

“The fact that train users are overcharged three times as much as Tube users exposes just what a lottery it is to be correctly charged by Oyster Pay as You Go.

Public transport should be safe and accessible for all Londoners

As a Transport for London report showed that 25% of Londoners - and 35% from black and minority ethnic communities - are deterred from public transport by the fear of crime, Caroline Pidgeon commented:

“One can speculate that the variation in fear of crime is due to such factors as greater dependence on public transport by some communities, however speculation will only get us so far.

Mayor must listen to the coroner and admit mistakes

As Boris Johnson disputed the conclusions of a coroner's report finding that cycle superhighways create a false sense of security for cyclists, Lib Dem London Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon said:

“The Mayor is simply wrong to question the views of the independent coroner who listened to expert witnesses before publishing her report. His inability to admit fundamental mistakes were made is a serious hindrance to improving road safety.”

Sentences for cycling deaths are far too lenient

Speaking to the Evening Standard on figures showing that of 40 deaths of cyclists on London's roads between 2010 and 2012, only 4 resulted in prison sentences for careless driving, Caroline Pidgeon said:

“All the evidence does suggest that far too often lenient sentences are being handed down to motorists and lorry drivers who have been convicted for careless driving which has contributed to the death of a cyclist.”

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