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We need answers not photo-ops on Mayor's new buses

Commenting on the news that the second bus to replace the Routemaster has entered service three weeks late, Caroline Pidgeon told the Evening Standard:

Instead of boasting about the new London bus the Mayor and TfL should come clean and explain why the rollout of these incredibly expensive buses is so clearly behind schedule.

We need answers not photo-ops from Boris Johnson.

Paddick and Pidgeon launch One Hour Bus Ticket

The London Liberal Democrats toured a range of London boroughs on Wednesday 30th March in a campaign bus to launch their fares package for Londoners.

The Fairer Fares package proposes Six Ways To Save, one of which is a One Hour Bus Ticket that will allow people to hop-on and hop-off buses as many times as needed within one hour, paying only one single fare.

The scheme works successfully in several European cities ensuring that multiple journeys on one of the most popular forms of transport are kept as low as possible. From the moment an Oyster card is touched, or a paper ticket is printed, passengers would have 60 minutes in which to make additional journeys without any extra cost.

Lee Valley White Water Rafting

Caroline Pidgeon AM went on a tour of the White Water Rafting Centre for the Olympic Games just north of London to see an Olympic venue fully in operation.

The Centre in the Lee Valley is already offering training for our athletes, as well as fire fighters, team building exercises for staff and people having fun and learning to use the first class facilities.

Another false promise from Boris Johnson

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and Lib Dem Deputy Mayoral candidate, commenting on Boris Johnson's transport manifesto that has been published today said:

"There needs to be a reality check with every statement issued by Boris Johnson.

"Four years ago he promised Londoners that the Tube would run for longer at the weekends, that he would end exorbitant train prices and ensure that the bike hire scheme cost nothing to the taxpayer. He even promised to work hard to negotiate a no strike deal with the Tube unions.

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.

Wide-ranging and bold policies for Londoners

Writing for the Politics First website, Caroline Pidgeon sets out the case for key London Liberal Democrat policies, ranging over:

  • A one hour bus ticket, so people can make two or three short bus journeys for the cost of a single fare
  • Reduced early bird fares for journeys before 7.30am - helping some of London's lowest-paid workers

Every Londoner owed £8 by embassies dodging Congestion Charge

The amount of unpaid Congestion Charge and penalty charge notices owed by embassies and diplomatic missions that evade paying the Congestion Charge is now more than £60 million, according to new figures obtained by Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group. Every single Londoner is owed more than £8 by non paying embassies and diplomatic missions.

Fairer Fares - affordable proposals that would make an immense difference

Writing for the London Loves Business website, Caroline Pidgeon discusses the areas where Transport for London needs to treat Londoners fairly - including returning the £55m held on dormant Oyster cards, and stopping the overcharging of passengers for "incomplete" journeys - and outlines the London Liberal Democrats' key transport policies:

There really are policies which can make fares fairer, which are affordable and will not undermine TfL’s much needed investment programme.

The Liberal Democrats are advocating a one hour bus ticket, so people can make two or three short bus journeys for the cost of a single fare. You can do this on the Tube, so it is only right bus users can do the same. Time limited bus fares are actually quite common in other European cities. It is time London caught up.

Olympic strikes would be the height of irresponsibility

The London Assembly has condemned remarks by Unite union leader Len McCluskey suggesting the 2012 Games should be seen as an opportunity to protest against the government.

In an interview with The Guardian on 28 February Mr McCluskey stated:
“I believe the unions, and the general community, have got every right to be out protesting. If the Olympics provide us with an opportunity, then that's exactly one that we should be looking at.”

A motion passed unanimously at yesterday's Assembly meeting rejected Mr McCluskey’s call to consider disrupting the Olympics.

We need to do far more than just expand the bike hire scheme eastwards

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the eastward expansion of the London bike hire scheme, said:

“Today’s eastward expansion of the bike hire scheme is welcome, but in reality we need to do far more to improve the scheme so it can be enjoyed by far more Londoners.

“The fun and excitement of the bike hire scheme has now largely gone.

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