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Good news for south-east London on Crossrail

Commenting on the news that funding has been very nearly agreed for the £75m Crossrail station in Woolwich, Caroline Pidgeon commented:

“If an agreement is close to finally being reached for the funding of a Crossrail Woolwich station, that is clearly great news. The failure to deliver a station would be an absolute betrayal for people in south-east London, denying them the improved transport links and economic benefits that Crossrail is set to bring to so many other places.”

Assembly report says London's airport capacity is underused

Airport capacity in London is currently underused, with some of London's airports having more than half their runway slots free, says a new London Assembly report. Even Heathrow – at 99 per cent runway capacity – might potentially fly an additional 20 million passengers every year if larger aircraft were used.

The Transport Committee’s report – Airport Capacity in London – suggests existing airport capacity in London, including at busier Heathrow and Gatwick airports, could be used more effectively.

Its reasearch shows:

Find alternatives to stop Jubilee Line closures dragging into 2015

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on reports today that Transport for London plan to shut the Jubilee Line for more than 30 days through central London due to acidic water eating into the tunnels walls, said:

"Instead of over 18 months of repeated weekend and holiday closures I question whether one intensive block closure perhaps in August would be both cheaper and less disruptive.

£150k spent on hidden cable car polling

Responding to the news that Transport for London has spent £150,000 on surveying the public about the Thames cable car - and refusing to publish the results - Caroline Pidgeon commented:

"If it insists on conducting such extensive polling it should at the very least ensure the public can see all of the information they have paid for, it begs the question what are they hiding?

"It is simply wrong for a public body such as TfL to spend a fortune on polling and then cherry pick the results they publish."

Give control of suburban rail to TfL to improve services

The Assembly’s Transport Committee has urged the Government to devolve control of London rail routes to the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) rather than franchising them to different rail operators. The Committee supports the devolution of these key services, currently run by Southeastern and West Anglia, in a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin.

£55m on Oyster cards should be returned to the public

Speaking to the London Loves Business website on figures that show that £55m is lying unused on Oyster cards that have not been used in over a year, Caroline Pidgeon commented:

"The slight decline in TfL’s cash pile is welcome, but it is time far more of this money was returned to the public.

“Transport for London has a huge media and publicity machine. It is time they put this to good use and ensured that everyone knows that they are entitled to obtain a refund on any unused Oyster cards."

"Wave and Pay" needs to keep fares fair

Speaking to the Evening Standard about plans that Transport for London is considering to phase out cash payment on buses, Caroline Pidgeon said:

"With all buses now having ‘wave and pay’ facilities the decline in passengers paying by cash is set to fall even further.

"My number one concern is that every fare offered by Oyster remains the cheapest on offer. It is vital that people without access to a bank account can access the lowest fares.

High winds cause 43 cable car closures

Figures obtained by Caroline Pidgeon have revealed that the Thames cable car service was interrupted 43 times by high winds between July 2012 and January 2013 - totalling 134 hours of lost service.

Read more here on the Wharf website.

Government must take opportunity to fund Gospel Oak-Barking electrification

The London Assembly’s Transport Committee has heard from Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, about the next opportunity for funding the electrification of the Gospel Oak-Barking line.

No details were provided in last month’s Budget, despite an announcement delivering £3 billion a year on infrastructure, but his letter suggests that the proposal may be reconsidered in the next spending round in June.

Sorting out Rotherhithe Tunnel chaos – TfL pledge to take action

Action to address the wider traffic problems at the entrance to Rotherhithe Tunnel and its approaching roads have been promised by key officials at Transport for London (TfL) at a meeting held this week at City Hall, with Caroline Pidgeon AM, Simon Hughes MP and local Southwark councillors.

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