Caroline Pidgeon AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson, commenting on the admission that the Mayor has agreed to underwrite Garden Bridge maintenance costs commented:
“It is concerning that only after the Mayor has given planning permission to the scheme and having allocated £30 million of public funds that he finally comes clean and admits that a financial guarantee has also been provided. The Mayor should have been clear many months ago that far from the Garden Bridge being a private and charitable initiative it is actually a major drain on public funds.
“Everything about the funding and decision making process relating to the proposed Garden Bridge has so far been as murky as the water that flows down the Thames.”
Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the 2015 TfL fare rises coming into implementation today (Friday 2nd January) said:
"Despite a Treasury grant to help keep fares down the harsh reality is that the Mayor and Transport for London are still hiking fares up in general by 2.5 per cent this year.
“And when inflation is at a 12-year low of just 1 per cent it is clear that the Mayor is insulting Londoners when he inaccurately claims that an overall increase in fares of 2.5 per cent is ‘freezing average fares in real terms in 2015’.
"This hike in overall fares exceeds any rise that most people will see in their pay packets, just as has been the case for a number of years under his Mayoralty.
Commenting on specific changes to certain fares Caroline Pidgeon:
“The one welcome aspect of this year’s fare package has been the long overdue realisation that TfL can no longer fleece people who work part-time or flexibly. The lower Oyster daily pay as you go cap for Oyster fares for peak travel is certainly welcome. However, even these positive changes have been marred by the Mayor and TfL attempting to sneak through massive increases in off peak travel for people living in outer London.”
Notes to editors:
Information about the current rate of inflation from the Office of National Statistics.
The Mayor has finally published his fare package for next year.
Transport for London fares will increase, on average, by 2.5%. Travelcard prices, which are jointly set with National Rail, will see prices typically increase by 2.3%.
Hidden away in the Mayor’s fare package is the harsh fact that people from outside London, such as Uxbridge and Kingston, and who only start their journey after 9.30 am will from the New Year face significantly higher fares when using Oyster Pay as you go.
For bus users fares will rise by five pence and the application fee for the 16+, 18+ and 60+ Oyster concession photocard will increase from £10 to £20 from 1 June 2015.
The one good piece of the package is that after years of campaigning by many people - especially London Liberal Democrats - for a part-time travelcard, there has been an acceptance that some changes are necessary to provide a better deal for people who work part-time, or who work unpredictable hours. Starting from 2nd January, the daily cap on Oyster Pay As You Go will become one fifth of the cost of a seven day travelcard.
However hidden away in the fare package are some severe increases in fares for some groups of people.
Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, commenting on the 2015 TfL fare package announced today said:
"The Mayor's proposals to put up fares in general by 2.5 per cent next year will hit hard many people and households. His proposed rise in fares would have been even higher if the Treasury had not stood in.
"This hike in overall fares exceeds any rise that most people will see in their payslips, just as has been the case for a number of years under his Mayoralty.
"The one small bit of hope is that finally TfL have recognised that the days when they can fleece part time workers and people who work flexibly must now come to an end."