Scrutinising the Mayor articles

Caroline meets RNIB on Tube accessibility for visually impaired people

Caroline Pidgeon AM met with representatives of the RNIB and officers from London Underground to discuss issues with the accessibility of the Underground for visually impaired people.

A number of issues were discussed including the reductions in staff at ticket offices and their impact on assisting visually impaired passengers, as well as issues with help points and future developments.

Mayor cannot ignore disturbing rise in bus crime

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s announcement today about crime statistics on public transport and his claim to be providing extra policing on to the transport network said:

“The Mayor should take great care when boasting about crime statistics on London’s transport network, especially as the overall fall in crime seems to hide some very disturbing rises in bus crime in about a third of London boroughs.

Celebrate Oyster takeup on rail services - but tackle passenger ripoffs

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on figures published today by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and TfL showing that more than two million journeys a week are now being made using Oyster Pay As You Go on London’s commuter rail services, said:

“While celebrating the increased take up of Oyster on rail travel both the Mayor and the train operating companies are ignoring the fact that too many train users are being ripped off by being overcharged when they use Oyster Pay As You Go.

Savage cuts in Tube ticket office hours will impact passengers

On the first day of reduced ticket office opening hours affecting commuters across London, Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commented:

"In 2008 Boris Johnson promised in his election manifesto to keep ticket offices on the Tube network open. Now in 2011 he is closing the very offices he promised to save. The reduction in opening hours means that ticket offices are now effectively closed for many people. Is that really offering passengers a better service?"

Embassy Congestion Charge arrears about to hit £50m

The total level of unpaid Congestion Charge by embassies based in London will soar through the £50 million figure this month predicts Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group.

At the start of the year £48.7 million was owed to Londoners by embassies. Transport for London (TfL) have now confirmed that as of yesterday the figure had reached £49.4 million and that later this month the total unpaid bill will exceed £50 million.

Caroline Pidgeon commented:

“The amount in unpaid Congestion Charges and Penalty Charge Notices owed by embassies is now so large that it could pay for more than 260 new buses on London’s streets, or fund the significant expansion of the cycle hire scheme, or alternatively reduce fare rises.

“It is disgraceful that £50 million is now being denied to Londoners by embassies that dodge paying the Congestion Charge. The small minority of embassies that think it is acceptable to evade paying the Congestion Charge are insulting each and every Londoner.

Met cuts puts future of Safer Neighbourhood Teams at risk

The Metropolitan Police Service last week admitted that in the next two years there will be severe cuts across London in the number of police sergeants working in Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

Following questions from Caroline Pidgeon, a Liberal Democrat member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, budget figures supplied by Tim Godwin, the Acting Commissioner of the Met, revealed that over the course of the next year 100 Sergeants posts are set to be lost from Safer Neighbourhood Teams across the capital. Assistant Commissioner Godwin also admitted to Caroline Pidgeon that by April 2013 a total of 300 sergeants will have been lost from London’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams, cutting in half the number of sergeants across London currently allocated to the neighbourhood policing teams.

Mayor should honour his pledge to deliver a better train service for Londoners

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, today called on the Mayor of London to look at whether Transport for London could take over the running of certain rail routes serving Londoners.

Following her questioning of the Mayor at City Hall she said:

“There is a chasm between what the Mayor promised train commuters before he was elected and the harsh reality facing so many commuters each and every day.

Boris’ obsession with a new airport must now be challenged

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the Mayor’s latest call at City Hall for a new airport covering London and the South East said:

“The coalition government has ruled out a third Heathrow runway or a further airport in the south east. Boris Johnson should now be slapped down by the Government for his ongoing comments, which are helping no one.


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