London-wide + Tower Hamlets stories

Jubilee Line fiasco costs more and more

After years of disruption on the Jubilee Line new evidence has come to light revealing some of the real costs of the years of dragged out weekend closures.

Following extensive freedom of information requests Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, has now discovered that the costs of the weekend closures since April 2007 on the Jubilee Line include:

  • 32 million passengers being affected by the weekend closures, leading to a loss in ticket revenue of a staggering £15.7 million
  • Transport for London having to spend £13 million on replacement buses

Commenting on these immense figures Caroline Pidgeon said:

“A year ago the Mayor and Transport for London admitted that the upgrade programme on the Jubilee Line would slip once again. After years of disruption to passengers, communities and businesses they announced a further year of weekend closures which has only just finished.

The Big Switch – Lib Dems call for London’s buses and taxis to go electric

A Big Switch to electric buses and taxis can cut London’s appalling air pollution, dramatically reduce premature deaths and ill health, and help meet climate change targets. The London Assembly Liberal Democrats have put forward an ambitious programme to convert high mileage buses, taxis and light goods vehicles to electric power by 2020. The plan was launched with Caroline Pidgeon AM and Mike Tuffrey AM with support from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP.

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.

Greenwich Council lets down pedestrians and cyclists with yet more delays

The full reopening of Greenwich foot tunnel has been delayed once again, with users facing night time closures and no lifts throughout the Summer until September. At the same time work on the Woolwich foot tunnel, which has been completely closed since last year, is not set to be finished until August.

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, discovered this information buried away on Greenwich Council’s website. The explanation for the six-month delay to the Greenwich foot tunnel is put down on the website to “additional works and problems with materials used in the repairs.” At present, no information at all has been provided by Greenwich Council about why the works at Woolwich foot tunnel are so far behind schedule.

2012 Games transport visit

Caroline went on the new high speed train from St Pancras to Stratford International Station to see how the transport infrastructure has been completed ahead of time for the 2012 Games.

Caroline joined other Assembly members, the mayor and other officials to experience the fast train journey which will shuttle thousands of spectators when the games come to London next year.

The trip then went on the new DLR extension from Stratford International to the main Stratford station. This is due to open in July according to TfL after further test.

No grounds for complacency over transport crime

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor welcoming the latest crime figures for London’s transport network, said:

“The Mayor should not be complacent with these latest figures. Across the whole of London’s transport network there has been no uniform fall in crime – indeed in some areas levels have increased, and in some cases by a significant degree.

Mayor continues to mislead on bus crime figures

The Mayorwatch website reports on Boris Johnson's misleading claims in his election literature that bus crime has fallen by 30% across London during his term in office. In fact, the detailed statistics show that the local picture is patchy, with bus crime actually increasing in many areas.

Caroline told Mayorwatch:

Just three months ago the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority warned Boris Johnson that the way he was using the bus crime data could ‘be damaging to public trust in the statistics’.

Sadly the Mayor has totally ignored this warning and is up to his old tricks of using misleading figures. It is simply wrong to suggest that bus crime is falling across the whole of London, when in fact in more than one third of boroughs it is increasing – and in some boroughs significantly.

Even where there has been some fall in the figures there should be no grounds for complacency about the level of crime on London’s buses. Bus crime is a problem everywhere, and in far too many places it is a growing problem.

You can read the full article here.

You can also read local coverage in the Barking and Dagenham Post, in the East London Advertiser (Tower Hamlers), the Wimbledon Guardian and at the Wimbledon SW19 website.

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