Scrutinising the Mayor articles

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.

Why is the Mayor paying £500 a second for celebrity bike videos?

The BBC report on their website that written questions from Lib Dem London Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon forced the Mayor to admit that TfL has paid celebrities £5,000 each for 10-second appearances in videos to promote the cycle hire scheme.

Caroline says:

It is scandalous that the Mayor is splashing out our money on frivolous celebrity videos, paying them £500 a second, when Londoners are facing huge hikes in fares.

The Mayor needs to get a grip.

Read the full article here.

Caroline presses the Mayor again on Richmond transport accessibility

The Richmond and Twickenham Times, whose campaign for accessible transport Caroline Pidgeon supports, reports that Transport for London bosses are refusing to meet local campaigner Clare Watson, who uses a wheelchair and has been repeatedly denied access to buses.

Caroline will be pressing the Mayor once again to meet with disabled transport users in the Borough.

You can read the full story here.

Transport for All’s protest against ticket office closures

Caroline joined members of Transport for All outside City Hall on Wednesday 8th September as they protested against the proposed cuts to staff at tube stations. The Mayor is looking to reduce ticket office opening hours by around 7500 hours every week across the capital, and up to 800 staff may lose their jobs.

“For many people with disabilities and those with other mobility issues, the idea of reduced staffing at stations is simply unacceptable. The suggestion that machines can substitute someone in a ticket office when, for example, you might have a problem with your Oyster card, or need a boundary ticket, is just wrong. I am very supportive of flexible staff who can be out in the ticket hall helping passengers and then go into the ticket office to issue a ticket and help with fares advice as needed. The Mayor and TfL need to rethink their plans now” commented Caroline Pidgeon AM.

Caroline Pidgeon slams undemocratic action by Conservative Assembly Members

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the decision by Conservative Assembly Members to once again walk out of the chamber at City Hall and prevent important items being debated by the London Assembly today, said:

"It is shameful that the London Assembly has today been prevented from debating key issues including the threat to people living in homes owned by the Crown Estates and the planned reduction in opening hours at tube ticket offices. These are bread and butter issue for Londoners and the London Assembly is here to make sure London's voice is heard.

"This disgraceful behaviour by Conservative London Assembly Members is an insult to the democratic process.”


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