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Mayor’s 2014 fare rises will hit the weakest the hardest

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting ahead of fare rises that will be introduced across the whole of the Transport for London network from 19th January, said:

“Thankfully the Mayor was forced to back down on his initial proposals to hike up travelcards above the rate of inflation.

Common sense over bikes on the DLR is welcome news

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on today’s announcement that Transport for London, will permanently permit bicycles on off-peak Docklands Light Railway trains said:

“This is an incredibly welcome decision. I am not surprised at all that the recent trial allowing non-folding bicycles on the DLR has been a success as there was no real argument to support the total prohibition of bikes being allowed on the DLR.

Assembly rejects Heathrow expansion

Despite opposition from the Conservatives, the London Assembly has voted to reaffirm its opposition to the expansion of Heathrow Airport and suggest that more use could be made of spare capacity at other airports serving the South East. It was reacting to the interim report published by Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission and the options proposed for expanding Heathrow and Gatwick.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, who proposed the motion, said: “I am really disappointed to see Heathrow back on the table. Airport capacity in London is currently under-used, in fact some London airports have more than half of their runway slots free. Rather than inflict further misery on the residents of West London, the Davies Commission should rule out expansion of Heathrow and focus on better use of capacity at other South East airports.”

Mayor needs to end his denial over plummeting cycle hire figures

Official cycle hire figures published today show that there were 1,473,824 (1.5 million) fewer people using the bikes in 2013 than during the previous year. The figures show that 2013 saw a 15% fall in people hiring bikes compared to 2012.

The London Datastore statistics further reveal that during 2013 there was a total of nine months with less people using the bikes than during 2012, including eight months in a row since May 2013, confirming that the fall is a clear trend and not due to any exceptional factors.

Victory for A5 pedestrian crossing campaign

Following months of campaigning by local Liberal Democrat Councillor Alison Hopkins and the local Lib Dem Team including Sarah Teather MP, a new pedestrian crossing will be installed on the busy A5.

Caroline joined campaigners in 2012 looking at this very dangerous road and saw clearly the need for an urgent pedestrian crossing to stop people taking their lives into their own hands trying to get from one side of the road to another.

Supporting pedestrian safety at Dulwich Common

Deputy Chair of the Transport Committee, Caroline Pidgeon AM has received a petition from College Ward Conservative Councillor Lewis Robinson calling for improvements for pedestrian safety at the notorious Dulwich Common junction with the South Circular.

Caroline has visited the site many times, including previously with Cllr Robinson and has supported his work calling for a “pedestrian phasing” onto the traffic lights at this busy junction. Many local residents believe they are “taking their life into their hands” using the existing crossing. The campaign is also supported by the Dulwich Society, which has over a thousand local members and in their latest journal said “The danger to pedestrians in this situation is very clear”.

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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