Transport articles

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.

Investigating Lordship Lane parking issues

Caroline Pidgeon AM set up a site visit with Transport for London and Southwark Council at the end of August to listen to local concerns from Cllr Lewis Robinson, a local Police Community Support Officer and local shop keepers at parking restrictions on Lordship Lane, outside AM Express Dry Cleaners.

The group discussed the concerns about the tight restrictions which affect local businesses. Following the meeting, TfL and Southwark Council officers have agreed to do some traffic modelling of options including whether the red route bays could allow stopping for 20 minutes between 10am and 4pm and also between 10am and 12 noon and 2 to 4pm.

“I was delighted to help College Ward Councillor Lewis Robinson and local businesses to set up this site visit and to have a look again at options for short term parking for the local passing trade for this parade of shops. I hope that all options can be considered” commented Caroline.

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.)

Fury at plan to close station exit

Southeastern Trains' plan to close the Tesco side exit from platform 4 at Lewisham Station has been met with fury by local residents. The rail operator intends to divert passengers down a new staircase or lift and under the railway to the entrance of Lewisham DLR Station. It is a detour which will add at least four minutes to journey times.

Caroline visited the exit at rush hour with local councillors and Lewisham Deptford Lib Dem Campaigner Tam Langley, to see the number of people using the exit.

“Southeastern trains need to reconsider this decision and ensure that all entrances to the station can be used” commented Caroline Pidgeon AM.

New train secretly axed

Caroline recently visited Lewisham with Lib Dem Campaigner Tam Langley and local councillors to look at the wider impact on train services of the East London Line Extension and proposals to delete the South London Line.

As part of the deal to secure the East London Line Extension, Transport for London and the Government agreed behind closed doors to scrap the promised Bellingham to Victoria service. This was being introduced to mitigate the impact of the planned closure of the South London Line which runs on a loop form Victoria to London Bridge. The planned service would have been four trains and hour from Bellingham to Victoria via Crofton Park, and provided a lifeline for Lewisham residents.

The Lib Dem Prospective MP for Lewisham Deptford Tam Langley, said, "TfL are supposed to announce any change of plans for this new service publicly, but they seem to just hope local people won't notice. We hope they will reconsider”.

Waterloo platforms will not be used until 2014

Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport Spokesperson and Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, has obtained information revealing that commuters will have to wait until 2014 before former Eurostar platforms are adapted for suburban trains.

Caroline used the Freedom Of Information Act to force the Department of Transport to reveal its plans in this letter.

Commenting on the delays Caroline Pidgeon said:
“It beggars belief that it will be five more years before trains can start using the former Eurostar platforms. It is after all two years since Waterloo International closed and obviously its closure was known about a very long time before then.

Boris must stop dithering on fares

At today's Mayor's Question Time, Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, criticised Boris Johnson's repeated evasiveness in answering questions about 2010 transport fares in 2010, saying:

"This time last year the Mayor had already told Londoners what the fares package would be for 2009. Now a year later the Mayor seems incapable of even saying when a decision will be announced for fares in 2010. Why is the Mayor dithering on fares?

Enfield rail travellers petition for Oyster Pay As You Go

Caroline Pidgeon AM joined Enfield Liberal Democrats at the Enfield Town Show on Saturday 5th September. The local Lib Dems are campaigning hard to persuade the Mayor of London, to sort out the derelict homes on TfL land on the North Circular.

“So many people stopped by the stall for a chat and to sign our petition, as well as to support our One Hour Bus ticket campaign” commented Caroline Pidgeon AM.

She also highlighted the local rail travellers' petition to have pay-as-you-go Oyster cards accepted at Enfield’s overground stations.

Caroline said:

In his transport manifesto, the Mayor stressed the importance of holding an 'emergency' train summit with the train operating companies (TOCs) to ensure that Oyster was available at every train station.

One year later the harsh reality is that no train summit has been called and every promise the Mayor has made about Oyster extension has been delayed again and again. Quite frankly Boris Johnson has seen more train delays than Reggie Perrin.

Caroline joins Camden Lib Dems' 20mph campaign

Caroline Pidgeon, the chair of the London Assembly transport committee, came to the launch of a Liberal Democrat campaign in Camden to introduce 20mph limits on streets across the wards of King’s Cross and Bloomsbury.

Caroline said: “Lib Dems London-wide are pushing for greater action on speeding than either the current or previous London mayors have been prepared to take.”

Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner for Holborn and St Pancras Jo Shaw, and King’s Cross Lib Dems, have welcomed the fact that money will be spent on improving the dangerous junction on Marchmont Street. But they said that pedestrians deserve to feel safe everywhere.

Jo Shaw commented: “Residents across the south of Camden have told that they feel unsafe and uncomfortable walking around the streets of their own neighbourhood.

“A 20mph limit for our streets would at a stroke make the traffic less intimidating, less noisy and, most importantly, unlikely to hurt anybody.”

Caroline Pidgeon supports councillors fighting for Blackheath train services

London Assembly Liberal Democrat Transport spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon AM led a delegation of Greenwich Liberal Democrat councillors to lobby South East Trains Public Affairs Manager Mike Gibson about plans to cut commuter train services at Blackheath Station.

Caroline Pidgeon, who is Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee commented: “It does seem extraordinary that with more and more passengers using rail to get to work, a train operator is withdrawing commuter trains.”


Subscribe to Transport articles