London-wide + Greenwich stories

Greenwich Council owes foot tunnel users an apology

Responding to a report investigating the causes of the 3-year overrun in the project to refurbish the Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels, Caroline Pidgeon said: "Finally some information has come to light as to why the upgrades to the tunnels took so long and incredibly are still in such a poor condition.

"Reading the report it does seem that fault lies equally with Greenwich Council and the contractors.

"Greenwich Council must now apologise to the tens of thousands of pedestrians and cyclists who rely on these tunnels but were never kept properly informed while the disruption over the tunnel closures dragged on over such a long period of time."

Cable car usage falls by half

Commenting on figures showing that usage of the Thames cable car has halved compared to a year ago, Caroline Pidgeon said:

"After 16 months of operating the latest passenger figures for the cable car speak for themselves. It is increasingly clear that the longer it is in existence the fewer people want to use it as it is currently run.

"The Mayor of London, who is chair of Transport for London, should now be honest with Londoners and decide what its future should be.

"If the cable car is to have any success in the long term it should either be run and operated as a privately run tourist attraction, or instead operated as an integral form of public transport, where people with a Travelcard or a relevant pass can use it for free."

Caroline meets Greenwich Lib Dems

Caroline was delighted to be the guest speaker at a Greenwich Lib Dems fundraiser on Monday 3rd June.

Caroline joined lots of members to enjoy a curry and drink followed by a detailed discussion on lots of issues form transport to police and fire cuts.

“It was great to meet so many members both old and new to discuss local issues in Greenwich. The saga of the foot tunnels, plans for river crossings and the Mayor’s plans for an airport in the estuary were all issues of concern”, commented Caroline.

Cable car is still failing Londoners

Commenting on figures from TfL showing that the Thames cable car has been closed 69 times between July 2012 and April 2013 - not including a week's planned closure in March, Caroline Pidgeon commented:

"These figures show just how unreliable the Thames cable car is as a form of public transport.

"If a year ago anyone suggested that the Thames cable car would have to close for over 216 hours in its first nine months of operating they would be accused of wild scaremongering.

DLR bike trial is long overdue

Commenting on the news that the DLR will allow bikes on board off-peak trains for a six-month trial starting in July, Liberal Democrat London Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon said:

"There has never been a convincing case for a blanket bike ban throughout the day on the DLR. This trial is both welcome as well as long overdue.”

Read the full story here at the Evening Standard.

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.”

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."

Assembly calls on Mayor for Woolwich Crossrail funding clarity

The London Assembly’s Transport Committee has called on Mayor Boris Johnson to clarify funding to enable a station at Woolwich to be up and running in time for Crossrail’s launch in 2018.

While the station box at Woolwich is now in place ready for tunnelling to commence, there still remains no agreement about funding the fitting-out of the new station. At a recent Transport committee (7 March), representatives from Crossrail Ltd told Members that a resolution was needed between sponsors Transport for London and the Department for Transport and partners Greenwich Council and Berkeley Homes, by mid-2013, if the station was to be ready for passengers by the launch.