Scrutinising the Mayor articles

Assembly urges Mayor to rethink Tube ticket office staff cuts

The London Assembly has called on the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) to rethink plans to cull up to 800 jobs on the Underground because of the adverse affects for passengers.

The Assembly believes the proposed cuts will damage customer service and leave passengers feeling less safe at stations where only one member of staff is present, particularly early in the morning and late at night.

Ticket office hours will be reduced, forcing people into long queues for ticket machines. This will especially disadvantage passengers with disabilities who find it difficult to use the machines and who rely on Underground staff for assistance when travelling by Tube.

Transport for London held to account

Caroline spoke at a fringe meeting at Lib Dem Conference in Liverpool hosted by Transport for London.

Caroline highlighted the unique challenges in the capital with a growing population and ageing infrastructure and the need for the investment through Crossrail and the tube upgrades to keep London moving.

Caroline also expressed concern about accessibility improvements being cancelled due to budgetary constraints. TfL spent £20 million on Step-free access projects at Amersham, Greenford, Ladbroke Grove, Newbury Park, Osterley and West Kensington stations. These have now been halted before the work has been completed.

Just what is the real cost of the Jubilee Line upgrade fiasco?

After years of disruption on the Jubilee Line further evidence has now come to light revealing some of the real costs from years of weekend closures on the tube line.

Following extensive questioning by Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, the Mayor has admitted that Transport for London has already lost between £10 to £12 million in ticket revenue due to the saga of continual weekend closures. Incredibly the Mayor is unable to even estimate what the final bill in lost ticket revenue will reach before the upgrades are ultimately completed.

Pedestrians at risk from Tower Hamlets crossings

The East London Advertiser newspaper reports on Transport for London's admission, after pressure on Boris Johnson by London Assembly Lib Dem leader Caroline Pidgeon, that 115 pedestrian crossings across London do not meet government safety standards.

Caroline visited the dangerous Whitechapel Road crossing with Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Griffiths, who said:

It’s outrageous that vulnerable people in our borough are being put at risk by the refusal of the London Mayor to rectify this admitted problem more quickly.

The council should also really be lobbying harder on this.

You can read the full article here.

South West Trains must start selling Oyster tickets

Following questions put by Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, the Mayor of London has admitted that South West Trains are the only train operating company in London now refusing to sell Oyster tickets or provide Oyster top-ups for passengers. The Mayor also admitted that South West Trains do not even have any plans to start selling Oyster tickets in the near future.

Dangerous King's Cross gyratory needs to be fixed

The Islington and Camden Gazette newspapers cover London Assembly Lib Dem leader Caroline Pidgeon's criticisms of the Mayor over his failure to act on the King's Cross Gyratory system, which has seen 63 crashes since 2007.

Caroline says:

The Mayor can't explain away the facts. The one-way system is a very dangerous road, and it needs fixing.

Read the full story here.

Questioning the Mayor on cycle hire glitches

The BBC reports on the Mayor's responses to questioning from Caroline Pidgeon AM, the London Assembly Lib Dem leader, revealing the impact of glitches in the launch of the cycle hire scheme.

Question: Has any money been returned to Barclays since the start of the scheme for any reason?

Answer from the Mayor: The Barclays Cycle Hire sponsor agreement does incorporate measures to reflect the success of the scheme. The precise details however are commercially sensitive.

South Londoners need bike hire scheme too

The Evening Standard's "London At Large" blog has an article on the lack of bike hire docking stations around Brixton and Stockwell, which Caroline Pidgeon has raised to Boris Johnson at Mayor's Question Time:

Caroline Pidgeon: "I have had many people express dismay that most of the docking stations are north of the river. Will you rectify this by adding more south of the river, particularly to areas with no tube stations?"

Answer from the Mayor: "TfL is studying ways of expanding the scheme to benefit more Londoners and visitors to London. One of the basic premises of the scheme is that a dense network of docking stations needs to be in place throughout the cycle hire zone, as users rely on the expectation that there will be a docking station close to their desired origin/destination. Therefore, areas with no Tube stations could not be incorporated in isolation to the rest of the network but rather the entire area would need to be covered by cycle hire. Cycle hire, though a valuable addition to London’s transport modes, is specifically designed to serve short trips and is to be used in addition to other modes, such as the Tube."

The full article is here.


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