London-wide + Tower Hamlets stories

Jubilee Line needs urgent action as reliability falls

Commenting on another major disruption to the Jubilee line during the rush hour on 22nd March, Caroline Pidgeon said:

"This line is critical to ensuring London keeps moving during the Games, but far from seeing improvements, reliability has been falling.

"The Mayor and Transport for London need to detail actions that will be taken in the next three months to turn this round."

And just 4 days later, hundreds of passengers had to walk out of a broken down train and through a darkened tunnel to safety.

Caroline said:

Greenland Pier boat service campaign - update

Local Liberal Democrat Councillors Lisa Rajan, David Hubber, Paul Noblet, Simon Hughes MP and myself have been inundated with emails from concerned passengers in Surrey Docks about the future of Greenland Pier. This also affects people who use the service and live just over in Lewisham.

We held a meeting on Monday morning with Gill Davies, Southwark Council's Director of Environment and Leisure. Our main aim for the meeting was to get Southwark Council to stop the temporary closure of the pier on 28th February, and instead keep it open for the Thames Clippers boats to use. We know how vital and valued the commuter boat service is and how many people rely on it. We also wanted to ask for a temporary pontoon to be installed if the existing one really does need to be removed for repairs.

We divided the pier issue into two parts - the immediate future, following the official Notice to Quit served on Thames Clippers, and the longer term future of the pier.

As far as the immediate situation is concerned, the Notice to Thames Clippers was, we were told, a legal requirement to enable the pier to be inspected and repaired as necessary. Thames Clippers should be granted a temporary licence to enable them to continue to use the pier until such time as it may be removed temporarily for any works. We have stressed that there should be no discontinuance of the service on 28 February, nor until it is essential for the pier to be closed, and we were led to believe that this would be the case. We also asked that users should be given one month's notice before the pontoon is actually removed.

Bow roundabout plans are just a first step

Speaking to the cycling website about TfL's initial plans to improve safety at Bow roundabout - a notoriously dangerous junction for cyclists - Caroline Pidgeon commented:

These improvements are only a first step - they must be followed through with a much bigger plan of work to improve safety and access for pedestrians as well.

Read the full article here.

Time for honesty over Jubilee line fiasco

As news emerges that TfL has had to pay £25m to the company that owns Canary Wharf in compensation for the major delays to the Jubilee line upgrade, Caroline Pidgeon commented:

"Users of the Jubilee line have faced years of misery as the upgrade programme over-ran. To learn now that millions of pounds has been shelled out to Canary Wharf Group, while passengers have not been compensated, adds insult to injury.

"It is time the Mayor and TfL were honest with Londoners over the real cost of this long-standing fiasco. We are entitled to know the details of every penny that has been spent."

You can read full coverage in the Evening Standard, the Docklands & East London Advertiser and the Wharf website.

Scrutinising the Mayor on cycling safety

2011 has seen far too many cycle accidents and deaths on our roads.

Caroline continues to campaign for safer roads for cyclists and pedestrians and her most recent questions to the Mayor which have been answered just before Christmas can be seen below.

For more information about cycling issues across London do also take a look at the excellent London Cycling Campaign website.

River Thames is a great opportunity for transport

The River Thames is a forgotten highway, a tube line effectively, across the centre of London and yet under-resourced in terms of transport.

In January, the London Assembly Transport Committee is looking into river transport services - so Caroline and other Committee members spent a chilly morning in early December out and about on the river with Thames Clippers from Putney to Erith, looking at the challenges and opportunities to really expand river transport services for Londoners.

Accessibility of London's transport network still falls short

The London Assembly Transport Committee has published a report in response to TfL’s new proposals on transport accessibility, showing that step-free access and other accessibility measures fall far short of the growing need for them, with half of bus stops, two thirds of rail stations, and three quarters of tube stations, not fully accessible to people with limited mobility.

The report argues for a range of measures, including low-cost steps such as allowing manual ramps, upgrading pedestrian crossings, providing better training for bus drivers, and improving online and paper maps.

Four years of fare misery under Boris Johnson

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on Boris Johnson’s fare proposals for 2012, which he confirmed today will be set at RPI plus 2 per cent, said:

“This is the fourth year of fare misery that Londoners will face under Boris Johnson.

“He has already hit Londoners hard by hiking up bus fares from 90 pence to £1.30 for a single fare since he arrived at City Hall. Today’s further rise will really hit hard many people, especially those on low incomes.

“Boris Johnson has failed to tackle effective action to tackle fare evasion or cut waste which is widespread throughout TfL. If the Mayor got on top of these issues there would be no need for such severe fare rises, especially for low income Londoners.

The Mayor doesn't take river transport seriously

Commenting on the plan for a three month closure of Greenland Pier in Rotherhithe - used by many commuters for the Thames Clippers ferry service, Caroline Pidgeon said:

People always overlook the river. It's such an important means of travel for so many people and this pier closing for three months is really bad news.

It shows the Mayor doesn't take river transport as seriously as others do.

How do the passengers get around while these works are on? They wouldn't close a Tube or rail station without making adequate provisions.