The Mayor of London has stood by his decision to cut in half the zero emission RV1 bus service, although after questioning by Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon he has admitted that the lack of advanced information given to passengers and local residents before the reduced service started was unacceptable.
Londoners and visitors are facing heavy travel disruption on the city's biggest weekend of the year - due to engineering work on the Tube and Overground, as well as the rail strike.
Caroline Pidgeon criticised the Mayor and Transport for London for the poor timing, and urged them to rethink:
“The weekend of 19 and 20 May will be a very special weekend for the capital, with a London team in the FA Cup Final and many people coming to London to take part in events across the capital celebrating the royal wedding.
The Mayor has refused to reverse the cuts to the RV1 bus service, which have left users with just three buses per hour - despite having spent £1 million on two new hydrogen-powered buses for the route just weeks before!
Caroline Pidgeon expressed the disappointment and frustration of local passengers:
"I welcome TfL at least admitting that it was unacceptable to suddenly cut in half the frequency of the RV1 without giving advance notice to customers and stakeholders.
Liberal Democrat Londonwide Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, after the continued failure of the leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council to answer her questions about how long Hammersmith Bridge will be closed for, said:
“No one underestimates the challenges of finally repairing and strengthening this historic bridge.
“However just because the issue is challenging is no excuse for not being open with the public.
Figures showing the lengthy wait many Londoners face in attempting to contact the 101 police non-emergency line have been revealed by Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat Londonwide Assembly Member.
Caroline's questions to the Mayor revealed that in 2017:
Caroline Pidgeon has written to the top lawyer at Transport for London, describing her growing concerns at the lack of openness in the design and procurement process, and asking him to investigate.
Specifically, Caroline raised the issues that:
Following criticism from Caroline Pidgeon and many South Bank residents and businesses, the Mayor has agreed to a review in the summer of the cuts that reduced the RV1 bus route to just three buses an hour.
Caroline joined local campaigners to present a petition at City Hall calling for the cuts to be reversed.
Caroline Pidgeon has called for more transparency from "London & Partners", the publicly funding tourism and promotions agency.
The London Assembly agreed a motion on 22nd February calling on the Mayor to use his position as the largest contributor to L&P's budget to ensure there is greater accountability.
“London & Partners has a vital job to do in continuing to promote London in a highly competitive world.
“We should not be complacent over the number of tourists that choose to visit London.
Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member and campaigner for better child protection, commenting on the fourth report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) on the record of child protection investigations undertaken by the Metropolitan Police Service commented:
“It is disturbing that 15 months after the first highly critical report was published, shortcomings are still rife in child protection investigations undertaken by the Met.