‘TURN OFF LONDON’S TRAFFIC LIGHTS’ PROPOSAL “UTTERLY RECKLESS” – VAL SHAWCROSS / OYSTER PAYG CUSTOMERS PAYING UP TO £100 A WEEK MORE THAN CONTACTLESS / BUS FREQUENCY INCREASED ON SOME SE LONDON ROUTES /
STUDENTS CHALLENGED TO DESIGN AUDIO AND VISUAL TOOLS TO IMPROVE TRAVEL FOR BLIND AND DEAF BUS PASSENGERS / FIRST WORLD WAR POEMS ON THE UNDERGROUND
‘TURN OFF LONDON’S TRAFFIC LIGHTS’ PROPOSAL “UTTERLY RECKLESS” – VAL SHAWCROSS
Commenting on GLA Conservative transport spokesman Richard Tracey’s report proposing turning off London traffic lights, London Assembly Labour group transport spokesperson Val Shawcross said: “Whilst this proposal may grab headlines its disregard for driver and pedestrian safety is incredibly worrying.
“London is a 24-hour city and many routes remain busy throughout the night, the idea that just because it’s not the middle of the day we should turn off traffic lights just to save a few pounds is utterly reckless.
“Only three years ago a Government report found that in other countries where this has been trialled accidents have tripled. “Given the dangers faced on London’s streets as it is, this proposal risks making after-dark death-traps of our roads.”
To read the report please go to: GREEN LIGHT – glaconservatives.co.uk
2014. TURNING OFF LONDON’S. TRAFFIC LIGHTS AT NIGHT. GLA CONSERVATIVES. GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY. RICHARD TRACEY (Source: GLA Labour party press release).
OYSTER PAYG CUSTOMERS PAYING UP TO £100 A WEEK MORE THAN CONTACTLESS
New analysis of tube and bus fares in the capital has revealed a vast gap between prices paid by some passengers using the new Contactless system and those using Oyster cards.
The analysis from London Assembly Labour Group transport spokesperson Val Shawcross has shown passengers using Oyster PAYG fares are paying up to £107 a week more than those using Contactless and making the same journeys.
Val Shawcross said the figures throw serious doubt upon the Mayor of London’s pledge that Oyster would always be the cheapest way to travel.
Despite promoting Contactless as “the same fare as Oyster” TfL’s introduction of weekly capping on Contactless but not Oyster, which only has daily caps, means those using Oyster are left paying significantly more.
Daily caps on Oyster mean that once customers have spent a certain amount they are not charged any more no matter how many journeys they make that day.
With Contactless users able to take advantage of weekly caps they could save significant amounts with some weekly caps coming into effect after only one and a half days of travel compared with daily caps.
Labour say a peak-time commuter who hits the daily cap travelling between zones 4 and 7 for example would pay £19.60 a day using Oyster.
On Contactless this would only cost £29.40 for a whole week meaning savings of £107.80 over Oyster if they were to hit the daily cap for a whole week. For those only commuting Monday to Friday, the saving on Contactless would still be £68.60.
A zone 1-6 commuter who hits the peak-time daily cap would save £53.40 per week by switching from Oyster to Contactless.
With TfL surveys showing that only 26 per cent of Londoners had made a payment with a contactless card, Val Shawcross has questioned why the Mayor chose not to introduce weekly capping on Oyster as well.
“Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that Oyster would always be the cheapest way to travel but that simply isn’t true.
“There is now a worrying gap between the prices paid by Contactless passengers and those using Oyster.
“What we now know is that many people in London who regularly hit the Oyster daily fare cap are potentially paying far more than those using Contactless despite being told it was the cheapest way to travel.
“When Boris Johnson launched Contactless he could have chosen to add weekly caps to the Oyster card. “Instead he purposely chose to give Contactless card users a better deal despite almost half a million Londoners not having a bank account let alone a Contactless card.” (Source: GLA Labour party press release).
BUS FREQUENCY INCREASED ON SOME SE LONDON ROUTES
Route 124, which operates between Catford (St Dunstans College) and Eltham (Southend Crescent) via Catford Bridge, Grove Park and Mottingham has seen its frequency increased from every 12 minutes to every 10 minutes during Monday to Saturday.
Transport for London says this represents a 20 per cent increase in capacity. “On Sundays and during all evenings the service has also been increased from a bus every 20 minutes to one every 15 minutes.
The changes, which have already come into effect, follow conversations between TfL and local residents and councillors who requested extra capacity on the busy route.
Route 185, which operates between Lewisham (Thurston Road) and Victoria Station via Catford, Forest Hill, East Dulwich, Denmark Hill, Oval and Vauxhall will see its frequency increased from a bus every 10 minutes to one every eight minutes during Monday to Saturday.
“This represents a 25 per cent increase in capacity and has been introduced to respond to high demand in the mornings and afternoons” say TfL. (Source: Transport for London press release).
John Barry, TfL’s Head of Network Development for buses, said: `This is great news for our passengers in south east London – capacity on these routes has increased significantly. We’ll continue listening to our passengers and stakeholders so we can continue to respond to changes in travel requirements’. (Source: TfL press release.)
STUDENTS CHALLENGED TO DESIGN AUDIO AND VISUAL TOOLS TO IMPROVE TRAVEL FOR BLIND AND DEAF BUS PASSENGERS
Transport minister Baroness Kramer has launched a competition for students aimed at devising new ways to make bus travel easier for people who have visual or hearing impairments.
Passengers can find it difficult to identify the number or destination of their bus, know where and when to get off or hear important on-board announcements, said TfL in a statement.
The competition is being run by the government-funded organisation Transport Systems Catapult.
Baroness Kramer said: “Audio and visual announcements on buses are especially helpful for those who are visually or hearing impaired.
“We want to tap into the creativity we know is alive and kicking in our classrooms to find ways in which we can make local transport more accessible.
“Disabled people have the same rights as anyone else to access public transport, but there remain obstacles. “I am open to any ideas that could make buses more user-friendly, for the many passengers who rely on them.”
TfL say research shows that the perceived high cost of existing technology has been cited as an obstacle by bus operators in parts of the country that do not currently provide audio visual information on buses.
“It is hoped the competition will deliver ideas that can be turned into cost effective systems for keeping passengers informed” add TfL.
The All Aboard competition is part of the government’s Accessible Britain Challenge which encourages communities to be inclusive and accessible. It involves working with disabled people to remove the barriers that stop them participating fully in their community.
The competition is open to all school children aged 14 to 18. The winning technology designer will receive a cash prize of £1000. They will also have the chance to work with local businesses and see their idea turned into a product, as well as going on a tour of the House of Parliament with Baroness Kramer. (Source: DfT press release.)
FIRST WORLD WAR POEMS ON THE UNDERGROUND
In the latest selection of poems launched on the London Underground (LU), Poems on the Underground is commemorating the centenary of the First World War.
The poems concentrate on the themes of brotherhood and reconciliation, in addition to the ways in which featured poet Guillaume Apollinaire says, ‘we said goodbye to a whole epoch’.
Over 3,000 poems will be visible on Tube trains, London Overground trains for the first time, and at special station sites.
Londoners and visitors to London will have the opportunity whilst travelling to read the works of six British, Italian, Austrian and French poets: Edward Thomas, Ivor Gurney, Siegfried Sassoon, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Georg Trakl and Guillaume Apollinaire.
Travellers can also acquire one of the 90,000 copies of the free booklet, War Poems on the Underground, 1914-1918. Transport for London (TfL) is producing the booklet and it will be distributed in Tube stations.
A TfL statement said: “The poems within it have all been featured on the Tube. “They address the different feelings, including anger at the political and military establishment, which arose as a result of the First World War.
“The First World War had a profound impact on London and its transport system. “Nearly half of the Underground’s staff were recruited to serve and by the end of the war, more than one thousand employees had been killed. “Memorials to them are at several stations across our network.”
Judith Chernaik, writer, editor and founder of Poems on the Underground, said: “We hope readers will be moved by these poets writing at first hand about their experience of the war, and in different ways expressing comradeship, love of country, despair and even hope.”
Poems on the Underground, founded in 1986, aims to bring poetry to a mass audience.It helps to make journeys more stimulating and even inspiring by showcasing a diverse range of poetry, including classical, contemporary and international poets in Tube train carriages across London.
Poems on the Underground: A New Edition (Penguin 2012) will be published in paperback in March 2015.
This latest set of Poems on the Underground is supported by Arts Council England, the British Council as well as TfL.
There is an also an event, ‘The Pity of War’, with guest reader Bruce Kent and the Apollo Chamber Players on Thursday 13th November, 6.45-8.15pm at Europe House, 32 Smith Square, SW1P 3EU. Admission is free, but booking is advised. Please contact [email protected] if you are interested in attending.
List of the stations distributing leaflets:Aldgate, Aldgate East, Angel, Baker Street, Bank/Monument, Barbican, Blackfriars, Bond Street, Borough, Canary Wharf, Cannon Street, Chancery Lane, Charing Cross, Earls Court, Edgware Road H&C, Elephant & Castle, Embankment, Euston, Euston Square, Gloucester Road, Goodge Street, Great Portland Street, Green Park, High Street Kensington, Holborn, Hyde Park Corner, Kings Cross, Knightsbridge, Leicester Square, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Mansion House, Marylebone, Moorgate, Notting Hill Gate, Old Street, Oxford Circus, Paddington Main, Piccadilly Circus, Pimlico, Russell Square, South Kensington, St Pauls, Tottenham Court Road, Tower Hill, Vauxhall, Victoria, Waterloo, Westminster (Source: TfL press release.)