Scrutinising the Mayor articles

Cycle Friday - a costly flop

Just 436 people took part in the Mayor’s Cycle Friday events - costing the taxpayer nearly £70 per cyclist, according to answers provided by Boris Johnson to Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport Spokesperson. Some rides saw only two or three cyclists turn up!

In a written answer to Caroline Pidgeon, the Mayor has admitted that the Cycle Friday events attracted only a handful of people over the eight weeks that they ran. Even a belated attempt to revive interest through the launch of a prize draw was a complete failure, with just 43 people entering the Londonwide competition. Attendance at the Cycle Friday events was also lowest at the end of the eight weeks.

Caroline Pidgeon commented:
"Cycle Fridays have sadly been a costly flop. The Mayor boldly predicted that thousands of commuters would take part but in the end only a few did.

London press covers Dial-a-Ride failures

The London press has given wide coverage to the failures of TfL's Dial-a-Ride service, revealed by Caroline Pidgeon's questioning of the Mayor.

Caroline commented then that:

“Three years ago Transport for London promised disabled Londoners a far better deal from Dial-a-Ride. They specifically promised that the number of refused trips would halve in just two years. Yet instead of falling the number of refused trips have actually gone up by more than 50%. It is simply appalling every day of the year more than 400 trips are now refused to Dial-a-Ride users."

The story has been covered in:

'Fares' is the one word Boris dare not utter

Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, commenting on Boris Johnson’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference, said:

“Boris Johnson can try to peddle the line in Manchester that he is controlling costs and giving Londoners a good deal. However, there was one vital word missing from the Mayor’s speech – fares.

Dial-a-Ride failures in Havering revealed by Caroline's questioning

The Romford Recorder reports on the failure of TfL's Dial-a-Ride service to meet elderly and disabled residents' needs in Havering.

Caroline is quoted saying:

It is time that Boris Johnson stopped making excuses over Dial-a-Ride and instead honestly admit that its service falls a long way short of what is necessary for some of the most vulnerable people in London.

Dial-a-Ride fails disabled people across London

Disabled and elderly people across the whole of London have faced a growing number of refused trips from Transport for London’s Dial-a-Ride service.

Following extensive questioning by Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, the Mayor has been forced to release figures showing that over the last two years there has been more than a 50% increase in the number of trips refused to disabled and elderly people who rely on the Dial-a-Ride service.

Commenting on the figures, Caroline Pidgeon said:
“Three years ago Transport for London promised disabled Londoners a far better deal from Dial-a-Ride. They specifically promised that the number of refused trips would halve in just two years. Yet instead of falling the number of refused trips have actually gone up by more than 50%. It is simply appalling every day of the year more than 400 trips are now refused to Dial-a-Ride users.

Mayor's Question Time - September 2009

Caroline's questions for Boris Johnson in September's Mayor's Question Time session have now been published on the web.

Caroline raised a range of issues, including:

  • Prospects of building a ferry pier near Vauxhall station
  • The need for a website for transport users to report problems with graffiti, litter and vandalism
  • Press reports that TfL is no longer pursuing foreign embassies which fail to pay the Congestion Charge
  • The lack of proper provision for cyclists while the Greenwich Foot Tunnel is closed

Mayor must review the licensing of cab drivers

An independent and wide ranging review of the licensing of cab drivers is now necessary following the recent reports of an individual convicted of manslaughter applying to become a taxi driver and having already received a private hire driver’s licence, says Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport Spokesperson.

The London Assembly Member, who chairs the London Assembly Transport Committee, has now written to Boris Johnson urging him to ensure that changes are made to the proposed review being undertaken by the Public Carriage Office (PCO).

Transport campaigns in Forest Hill

On Friday 4th September Caroline visited Forest Hill with local Lib Dem Councillors John Russell and Alex Feakes to look at a number of transport issues.

Talking to local residents and members of the Forest Hill Society, Caroline heard about several key transport issues, several of which Caroline has tabled questions to the Mayor about:

1. The proposed reduction in train services from Forest Hill at peak times and in evenings and weekends to Charing Cross;

2. The dangerous junction of Forest Hill Road and Sydenham Rise;

3. The virtually invisible bus stops on Sydenham Rise due to overgrown trees, bushes and no dedicated bus space to pull in by the kerb; and

4. Issues of visitor traffic around the Horniman Museum, congesting local streets.

Graffiti problems at St John's station

Caroline visited St John’s station in Lewisham to witness the huge amount of graffiti that appears all over the station and on surrounding walls.

“There needs to be a simple way to report such graffiti and other environmental nuisance at stations and other transport areas as there are so many train companies and public bodies involved it is difficult to work out who is responsible. I have called on the Mayor of London to look at introducing such a website or web pages” commented Caroline. (See Caroline's question to Boris Johnson here.)

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