London-wide + Harrow stories

Assembly Transport Committee will review bank card payment plans

The London Assembly Transport Committee is reviewing TfL’s plans to make London the first city in the world where contactless payment is available on the entire transport network – starting with buses from spring next year.

The Committee will assess the benefits and the risks of using contactless bank cards to pay for travel, both for passengers and for Transport for London. TfL expects contactless cards will be cheaper to operate than Oyster, but the Committee will investigate security concerns that have been raised.

Chair of the Transport Committee, Caroline Pidgeon AM, said:
“Transport for London has big plans for the future of ticketing in the capital, but any changes must be geared towards increasing convenience and value for passengers.

“Security is also an issue. The use of contactless bank cards will be seen as a step forward by some people, but others may be reluctant to flash their debit or credit card at a ticket gate.

“We will review the benefits and risks of TfL’s short and long-term ticketing plans to ensure they are right for London.”

Passengers losing too many hours down the Tube

Speaking to the London Assembly Transport Committee, the Managing Director of the London Underground has publicly acknowledged that problems on the Tube over the past year have resulted in an increase in lost customer hours on almost every line.

Chair of the Transport Committee, Caroline Pidgeon AM, said:

We recognise the challenges London Underground is facing as it works to deliver an extensive upgrade programme while carrying more and more passengers, but the past year has seen an unreliable service for passengers who are exceptionally frustrated by their daily commute.

While we heard today that if you go back several years things are generally improving, the recent performance of the Tube has undoubtedly deteriorated and is not good enough.

With major upgrade work about to start on the Northern line we hope lessons have been learned so that passengers who use it will not have to deal with the levels of disruption seen on the Jubilee and Victoria line upgrades.

Canons Ward action in Harrow

Caroline Pidgeon AM joined Lib Dems from across London out in Canons Ward in Harrow on Bank Holiday Monday. Joined by London Assembly candidates Marisha Ray and Shas Sheehan, as well as well known blogger Mark Pack, the team joined local Harrow members Laurence, John and Cllr Chris Noyce talking to residents in the area.

Darren Diamond is standing for the Lib Dems in the by-election and would make a really good councillor given his 12 years service at Stanburn School as a governor and his youth work with the scouts for nearly 20 years.

“It was good to go out and talk to local people about the real concerns including the terrible upgrade of the Jubilee line and the problem with disabled access at Stanmore station,” commented Caroline.

Making London's roads safer for cyclists

Caroline Pidgeon is continuing to support action to tackle the high number of accidents and fatalities that face cyclists on London's roads. London faces an especially serious problem with accidents involving collisions between lorries and cyclists at junctions.

A recent question asked by Caroline to the Mayor revealed that in 2009 six cyclists were killed on London's roads in accidents involving a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV), and with a further two cyclists killed in accidents involving a refuse lorry and a cement mixer. In 2010 there were two cyclists killed in accidents involving vehicles and two further two fatal collisions including a skip lorry and a cement truck.

Caroline has already given her full support to the campaign by the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) for better training for lorry drivers and recently received the petition that had already gathered more than 10,000 signatures. Read more information about the campaign here.

Another day of rush hour Jubilee line chaos

The Evening Standard reports on the rush-hour chaos on the Jubilee line yesterday, with a loose screw on a platform door at Westminster causing major delays along the line.

Caroline told the Standard:

The ongoing problems and delays on the Jubilee line cannot be dismissed as isolated incidents. There is something seriously going wrong with one of London's most important transport links.

It is time that the Mayor provided proper answers and not just excuses over the running of the Jubilee line.

Mayor’s unbelievable latest broken promise over Jubilee Line

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s admission made today at City Hall that substantial improvements in capacity on the Jubilee Line will only be completed by the Autumn, said:

“Passengers will find it truly unbelievable that there is yet another delay to when the Jubilee Line will be operating at full capacity, seven days a week.

“Today’s admission is the fourth broken promise made by the Mayor as to when improvements to the Jubilee Line will finally be completed.

Why are there yet more delays on the Jubilee Line?

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on today’s admission by the Mayor and Transport for London that weekend closures and upgrade work on the Jubilee Line will not be completed until July, said:

“The Mayor, who is Chair of Transport for London, must now apologise to Londoners for this further delay in completing the upgrade of the Jubilee Line.

Oyster overcharging at a station near you

Passengers are being overcharged more than £1 million a week when using Oyster, with overcharging occurring at every tube and train station across the capital, new figures obtained by Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group leader, have revealed.

The top ten stations where passengers were ripped off last year were:

Waterloo National Rail £2,452,000
London Bridge National Rail £2,300,000
Liverpool Street National Rail £1,615,000

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