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No excuse for long-term public sector employees being off the payroll

Speaking to politics.co.uk about the continued use by Transport for London of Personal Service Companies to pay employees - a practice which the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has said "generates suspicions of complicity in tax avoidance" and "fails to meet the standards expected of public officials" - Caroline Pidgeon commented:

"It is time the mayor got to grips with this issue and instructed TfL to adopt the same rules that apply to civil servants across all government departments and agencies.

Commons report on river crossings is stuck in the 1970s

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson, commenting on today’s report by the House of Commons Transport Committee on river crossings, said:

“Far from being forward looking this report is based on ideas dating back to the 1970s.

“I think it is bitterly disappointing that the report totally overlooks the need for improved public transport links across the Thames, such as extending the London Overground across the Thames beyond Barking Riverside.

Against Heathrow expansion

Caroline Pidgeon AM joined Vince Cable MP speaking at a rally organised by HACAN against expansion at Heathrow on Tuesday 3rd March.

"Given that there are 725,000 people affected by noise from Heathrow – no other airport in Europe comes close to this figure. AND a new runway would mean an additional 150,000 people under the flight path. It is simply unthinkable that a third runway could be built at Heathrow" commented Caroline.

Other key messages from Caroline's speech include:

"Existing capacity in the south east must be used more effectively. In summer 2012, 47% of runway slots at Stansted weren’t used, 51% at Luton, and 12% at Gatwick. Instead of a new runway at Heathrow, we should be prioritising improved rail links to the airports that already have spare capacity. It’s good to see that the line to Stansted will be four-tracked in the not too distant future."

"Even at Heathrow, though it is full, we know the terminals can handle a further 20 million passengers a year. Heathrow could look to shift to more long-haul flights or larger aircraft to increase passengers."

Good news for the lungs of London’s children

On National No Smoking Day, Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, has welcomed the decision by Transport for London to install no smoking signs in all of its bus shelters.

Looking at Transport issues in Richmond Park consituency


Caroline Pidgeon AM joined local parliamentary campaigner Robin Meltzer on Friday 13th February to look at a number of transport issues that had come out of a detailed survey conducted by Robin and the local Liberal Democrats.

Caroline's first stop was to meet Emma Robinson, the Barnes Town Centre Manager, and local residents, to discuss their wish for the cycle hire scheme to come to Barnes over Hammersmith Bridge.

Cycle incident analysis exposes TFL's failure to invest in safe cycling infrastructure

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on a report by the insurance company Aviva which has analysed police road traffic collision data between 2009 to 2013 on London’s roads, said:

These figures confirm that cycling around many gyratories and especially roundabouts such as the Elephant and Castle is nothing less than a Tour de Danger for cyclists.

Compensation for removing the off-peak cap is not enough

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, responding to today's announcement that the Mayor will provide automatic refunds to those who incur a higher fare than the former off-peak daily cap in outer London (Zones 4-6) twice or more in a week, said:

It’s shameful that the Mayor signed off changes to the fare structure without actually understanding what he was doing. His incompetence has cost outer London commuters dearly, with thousands having endured double digit fare rises since January.

Londoners should be the first to question the Mayor about his plans for London’s road network

Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s plans for London’s road network which he has announced in the United States said:

"This is exactly the kind of announcement that the Mayor of London should make in London, ideally at a press conference, where London’s media, including local newspapers, can properly question the Mayor on his specific proposals.

Go ahead for Cycle Superhighways will lead to a step change in cycling

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Group, commenting on the decision by Transport for London’s Board to support the proposed Cycle Superhighways, said:

I very much welcome the Board seeing sense and supporting safe cycling infrastructure in London.

We need to move into the 21st century and embrace the fact that more and more people are cycling.

I am certain that in a few years’ time we will look back in amazement at the fuss that has been created over the Cycle Superhighways.

Just why were cycle tracks dropped from the proposed Garden Bridge?

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on a report published in Architects Journal about lobbying for the Garden Bridge, based on correspondence between the Mayor and Joanna Lumley, said:

We now know that back in May 2012 the Mayor was lobbied to support the Garden Bridge and at this stage was specifically told by Joanna Lumley that the proposed bridge would have segregated cycle tracks.

The fact that a significant change in policy then took place to ban cyclists from using the bridge, apparently at the sole insistence of Joanna Lumley, raises significant questions about how the changing views of one individual can then lead to such an important revision in the architectural design of a major project.

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