Lib Dem victory over Oxford Street Pedestrianisation


Oxford Street could be pedestrianised by 2020 is the claim being made by the Mayor of London’s office this week.

Pedestrianising Oxford Street has for many years been advocated by the London Liberal Democrats.

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“London has paid and will continue to pay an incredible price for Boris Johnson’s obsession with the new Routemaster bus”– Caroline Pidgeon



Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly transport spokesperson, commenting on the announcement today that conductors will be removed from the six routes (9, 10, 11, 24, 38 and 390) that currently operate on new Routemaster buses, starting from this September said:

“The whole point of the new Routemaster buses was that you could jump on and off them.  This was their raison d'être.

“The reality is that the new Routemaster buses were horrendously expensive to purchase and have been plagued with faults, including overheating in the Summer months and serious problems with their batteries.

“London is now burdened with buses which it will struggle to sell as second hand to any other city in the UK, let alone around the world. London has traditionally benefited from having the most modern buses on its roads.  Sadly these new Routemasters will now have to remain on London’s roads until they are only fit for scrappage. We will soon be left behind many cities in the world which are rapidly adopting 100 per cent electric buses.”

“London has paid and will continue to pay an incredible price for Boris Johnson’s obsession with the new Routemaster bus.”



Southern Trains must come clean over their staffing levels – Caroline Pidgeon

Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon and daily user of Southern train services, commenting on the start today of the amended Southern and Gatwick Express timetable, involving no less than 341 daily train services being cancelled every weekday said:

The level of service provided by Govia Thameslink Railway in recent months has been appalling, there is simply no other way to describe the service that I and so many other people have faced in recent weeks. 

“Their service has led to immense inconvenience for thousands of people and families across south London.  With only 3 trains over the morning rush period and in the evening on some routes, many parents will struggle to reach their childcare on time, causing even more stress”

“I have repeatedly asked for information about the level of drivers they employ, how many are in training and how many they actually require to run their full timetable without relying on the use of overtime. The fact that this information has not been provided to date speaks for itself.”

“By drastically reducing their timetable Southern trains are simply taking the easy option for themselves at the cost of everyone else.  And this is on top of the many cuts to services passengers using London Bridge have faced over the last few years. 

“I hope that before long Southern train services are taken over by London Overground.  In the short term the company must provide details as to when it will end its much reduced service and when it will have enough drivers to drive their trains.  The company should also sort out its poor industrial relations.”



Caroline Pidgeon and Tim Farron visit Polish centre defaced by racists

Tim Farron and Caroline Pidgeon visited the Polish centre in Hammersmith to show solidarity with the Polish community and to make clear that xenophobic attacks it suffered recently will not be tolerated.

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Simon Hughes: After the Referendum, what next?

Simon Hughes has launched a new survey to ask people what they think should happen next after the EU Referendum result.

In an email he wrote: "Many people are understandably shocked and angry after the European referendum result. People are worried about whether their partners or they themselves may lose their rights to live here even after decades of being good members of our community. Many are worried about the noises already being made by firms of moving jobs to the continent. Others are simply horrified at the upsurge of racist attacks which have been reported.

"The Lib Dems will stick by our pro-European beliefs - you can read Tim Farron's speech here. Losing one referendum doesn't suddenly change our principles."

"Please take a few moments to complete our survey on what should happen next - and do encourage others you know to do so too."

Please click here and take part in our survey

Ashdown: "A terrible blow to tolerance, to cooperation and to opportunity."

Paddy Ashdown has invited people to join him to defend the values of tolerance, cooperation and opportunity.

Writing about today's news, he said "I don't know about you, but I'm devastated. Today fear has beaten hope, fiction has beaten fact and our country has been catapulted into the unknown."


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Past failings by Boris Johnson on housing must now be addressed – Caroline Pidgeon

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on Sadiq Khan’s description of the previous Mayor’s ‘Concordant’ scheme to supposedly stop developers advertising London homes abroad first for overseas buyers as ‘toothless’ said:

“Sadiq Khan is absolutely right to criticise the weak measures adopted by the previous Mayor.

“Boris Johnson was twice asked by the London Assembly to investigate the impact that overseas investment was having on the price, affordability and supply of homes for Londoners.   He arrogantly ignored the London Assembly and refused to undertake this much needed research into London’s housing market.

“However criticising the last Mayor will not in itself deliver one more home for Londoners. Sadiq Khan must now set out how he will not repeat the mistakes made by the last Mayor.”


Liberal Democrats pay tribute to Jo Cox

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron and Paddy Ashdown have paid tribute to Jo Cox MP who was murdered this afternoon.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:

“I am utterly heartbroken at the news of the death of Jo Cox.  This is a devastating attack on our peaceful society. An attack on an elected representative is an attack on everyone.

“She was outstanding representative who stood up for her community diligently.  She also stood up for the desperate and those in need – I am proud of the stance she took raising the plight of refugees.  

“Her compassion for the voiceless and dispossessed absolutely shone through to me. She was a star of the 2015 intake and was inspiring to listen to.

“A young family has lost a mum and a wife, a community has lost a great MP and Parliament has lost an authentic and passionate voice.

“It seems the vile politics of hate has gone from the darkened corners of the internet to violence on our streets. Our country is poorer for this mindless slaughter.

“My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and with all her colleagues in the Labour movement and throughout her community. We stand with you.”

Paddy Ashdown, who worked closely with Jo Cox on campaigns for Syria and refugees, added:

“I am terribly shocked and saddened by this news and my thoughts are with her family. She was someone with extraordinary courage and a principled campaigner for a more enlightened policy towards refugees. She represented all that is best in our country and our political system.”

Honesty over fares and investment needed in London’s transport has never been more important – Caroline Pidgeon

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on the Mayor’s announcement today over his future plans for transport fares said:

“Sadiq Khan’s manifesto specifically said that Londoners won’t pay a penny more for their travel in 2020 than they do today.   There were no ifs, or buts, in that statement.”

“The reality is that many Londoners will see their travelcards rise over the next few years.    What we have found out today feels like a very early broken promise from London’s new Mayor.”

“Honesty over fares and investment in London’s transport has never been more important.” 



Mayor must now deliver on the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Bridge – Caroline Pidgeon

Building a pedestrian and cycle bridge between Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf and extending the cycle hire scheme out to Rotherhithe are issues now firmly in the new Mayor’s in-tray following questions being raised at the first Mayor’s Question Time for Sadiq Khan by the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon.

Caroline Pidgeon AM highlighted to the new Mayor the immense transport need for a pedestrian and cycle bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, as demonstrated by the frequent overcrowding on the Jubilee Line created by commuters needing to cross the Thames.

Caroline also highlighted how Bermondsey and Rotherhithe are excluded from the cycle hire scheme, with the most eastward cycle docking station south of the Thames being just a few hundred metres from City Hall.

Responding to Caroline Pidgeon the Mayor described the proposed pedestrian bridge as a ‘great project’ and in relation to extending the cycle hire scheme stated “I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t.”

Commenting on the Mayor’s reply Caroline Pidgeon:

“I have long championed a pedestrian and cycle bridge linking Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf.  There is a desperate transport need for a bridge here, especially to alleviate pressure on the Jubilee Line.”

“The case for the bridge is overwhelming.  The only issue is how it is delivered.   The Mayor must now come forward with concrete plans to ensure that this idea is turned into reality as quickly as possible.  There is no reason why the bridge could not be built and open within four or five years.

“At the same time it is vital that south east London is no longer overlooked by the cycle hire scheme.    A pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Thames from Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf combined with extending the cycle hire scheme into Bermondsey and Rotherhithe will transform transport links for many local people.”


For more information see reports in the Wharf newspaper and the SE16 community website:

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