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New London buses - staggering costs and broken promises

Responding to the costs of the new "Routemaster" replacement buses in London as revealed by a Freedom of Information request, Caroline Pidgeon, deputy chair of the London Assembly's Transport Committee, told the Huffington Post:

“The Mayor of London first promised Londoners that the research and design costs of the new bus for London would be picked up by private business.

"The reality is that over £400,000 of public money was spent on design costs alone and the first eight buses cost taxpayers a staggering £11 million.

Bike hire scheme needs to move up a gear

Throughout the last year one in five bike hire docking stations were empty for at least three hours each day, according to new figures released by the Mayor of London following questions from Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

Between 1st July 2012 to the 30th June 2013 the level of empty bike hire docking stations included:

  • 107 docking stations empty for 3 hours or more each day
  • 76 docking stations empty for 4 hours or more each day

Campaigning on transport in Haringey

Caroline Pidgeon AM joined local Lib Dem Councillors and campaigners in Haringey on Friday 5th July to look at a number of transport issues in the Borough.

Harringay Green Lanes Station

Caroline met with Cllr Schmitz and others to look at the issues at this station, in particular the Gospel Oak to Barking Line’s closeness to houses on Lothair Road. Caroline heard about ongoing work to try to resolve some of the noise issues which come from Goods trains and others in the early hours on this line and have potentially caused structural damage to homes, as well as excessive lighting at night at the station.

“Given that this line will now be electrified there is clearly going to be a lot of further work over the next few years and ultimately there could be more trains on this line. I have therefore asked Network Rail to consider the idea of a noise barrier – something I helped with at a different Underground station in Kensington, as well as seeking clarification on what works are planned to try to resolve these noise and vibration issues” commented Caroline.

Mayor faces pressure to extend Tramlink to Sutton

The Mayor has recognised the “reasonable business case” for extending the Tramlink to Sutton after being grilled at City Hall by Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

It is time the Mayor learnt that you can’t please all road users, all the time

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s Roads Task Force report which has been published today, said:

“In an attempt to please everyone this report contains a rag bag of ideas. Some of the ideas are very good, but there are some ideas that are outdated, impractical and harmful for London’s environment.

New Routemaster is a "cauldron on wheels" as passengers swelter

As temperatures reached over 30 degrees Celsius inside the poorly cooled new Routemaster replacement buses, Caroline Pidgeon told the Evening Standard:

"After spending a fortune of public money and after extensive testing the public should not have to put up with a cauldron on wheels.

"The Mayor and TfL should stop making excuses and ensure that such basic problems are sorted out as a matter of urgency."

Cycle superhighways need to be segregated and safe

Following the tragic death of a cyclist on Cycle Superhighway 2 at Aldgate East, Caroline Pidgeon told the BBC that the initial superhighways are flawed as they are "little more than blue paint put down on the road".

Caroline added: "London needs to rapidly learn from practices in Denmark and Holland and ensure we have widespread segregated cycling lanes and junctions that are safe for all road users."

Read the full article here at the BBC.

New £1m "Routemasters" are a waste of public money

Caroline Pidgeon told the BBC's Tom Edwards - after learning that passengers on some of the Mayor's new "Routemaster replacements" will not be able to get on and off the bus between stops:

Ten years of Oyster - keep it the cheapest option

Looking back at 10 years of Oyster, and its uncertain future as "wave and pay" technology is introduced, Caroline Pidgeon told the Mayorwatch website:

"While wave and way technology will inevitably become more widespread over the next few years there can be no excuse for people using Oyster who have no access to a bank account being penalised.

"The Mayor must honour his specific pledge that Oyster fares will remain the cheapest fares. If a weekly cap is introduced on using wave and pay on London buses then it is vital that a similar cap applies on Oyster PAYG weekly fares."

Read the full article here at MayorWatch.

Electrification of Barking to Gospel Oak train line is high voltage news

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the confirmation today by the Treasury that funding has been secured to ensure the long overdue electrification of the Barking to Gospel Oak train line, said:

“This is incredibly welcome news. Electrification of this railway line stretching from Barking to Gospel Oak is exactly what long suffering passengers on this line have been waiting for. They can now look forward to a much more reliable service.

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