London-wide + Tower Hamlets stories

Olympic transport will not be as easy as the organisers hope

The Telegraph covers the advice by the 2012 Olympics organising committee that commuters should stay at home and avoid public transport during the Games, despite polls showing that 80% of Londoners plan to be in the city as normal.

Caroline Pidgeon comments:

Instead of relying on many commuters staying at home or avoiding London we need assurance that plans are in place and the transport network will be able to cope to prevent gridlock across the capital.

I fear travel will not be as easy as they hope.

You can read the full article here.

£11.6m cost of replacement buses for Jubilee Line closures

The Independent and the Daily Mail have both covered the Mayor's admission, in response to questions from Caroline Pidgeon, that £11.6m has been spent so far on rail replacement bus services during the Jubilee Line upgrade works.

Caroline said:

The delayed upgrades to the Jubilee Line has been bad enough for passengers and businesses, who have had to put up with terrible disruption and closures for far too long. It is now rubbing salt into the wound to discover that farepayers are picking up another huge bill.

One in ten Londoners cannot access public transport

More than one in 10 Londoners are excluded from large sections of the public transport network because buses, trains and stations are not accessible to people with reduced mobility - and the situation is set to get worse, says a new study from the London Assembly Transport Committee.

The detailed study reveals that there far more needs to be done to introduce step-free access and other accessibility measures, and points out that by 2031, more than a million Londoners will have reduced mobility

In particular:

Why do we still not know how noisy London has become?

Speaking on the first day of the judicial review into the decision by Newham Council to allow 50% more flights a year from London City Airport, Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said:

“I wish the campaigners every success with their legal action. The aviation industry has a long record of exaggerating their economic importance while denying the true impact they have in terms of noise, disturbance and harm to the environment, and this is especially the case in relation to City Airport.

Mayor washes his hands over cuts to the Clipper service

The Mayor has refused a request to meet users of the Clipper service who are protesting against the cuts to evening services on the river. The Mayor failed brushed off the issue and would not agree to meet with interested parties as requested by Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, at today’s Mayor’s Question Time.

Commenting on the Mayor’s decision, Caroline Pidgeon said:

Remembrance Sunday tube closures are an insult to veterans

Commenting on Transport for London’s plans to close several tube lines serving central London on Remembrance Sunday - when only three tube lines will provide a "good" service - Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said:

“Thousands of veterans and their families will wish to come into central London to take part in the Remembrance Sunday events at the Cenotaph.

“It is simply disgraceful that so many tube lines will be closed on this very important day, making access difficult if not impossible for veterans, their families and others wishing to honour our armed forces.”

“I know that many Londoners will wish to show their appreciation to veterans and honour those who have fallen in combat. The Mayor and Transport for London need to rethink their plans."

Thames Clipper cuts will hit thousands of travellers

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the much reduced Clipper commuter service which will operate from Monday 1st November, said:

“Today you can jump on a Clipper boat just before midnight at the Embankment and travel down the Thames to Bankside, Blackfriars, London Bridge, Canary Wharf, Greenwich and Woolwich. Yet from Monday simply getting home will become a real struggle for many people when they suddenly discover that the last boat now leaves as early as 9.10 pm.

Tower Hamlets Mayoral election

Caroline joined Lib Dem Mayoral Candidate John Griffiths, Cllr Stephanie Eaton and the local team out and about on a walkabout on Saturday 16th October.

“It was really interesting to talk to local residents in the market and also local traders in the shops to hear about their concerns. In particular it was clear people feel Tower Hamlets Council is not supporting local markets and that the local shops are being affected by high rents and business rates” commented Caroline.

TfL and unions must both put passengers first

Caroline Pidgeon has backed a recent House of Commosn motion tabled by Martin Horwood MP, the co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee on Transport, denouncing the recent tube strikes and highlighting the inconvenience suffered by commuters. Martin has criticised both the unions and the Mayor of London’s office for not doing enough to reach an agreement between all parties, and encouraged the Mayor of London to bring the current talks to a settlement.