OLYMPIC PARK – SO MUCH FOR LEGACY!!

Last year a planning application was submitted for the creation of London’s largest concrete and asphalt factory – right at the centre of the Olympic Park, and in the middle of a dense residential area.

This development would have a dramatic impact on the local area and residents, creating 3 concrete batching plants and an Asphalt production plant adjacent to a heavily used green space.

The proposed plants, which will be next door to London Athletics and the new UCL East campus, are to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with an estimated 900 heavy vehicles coming and going daily.

This will create an industrial blight on the area by introducing significant air, dust and noise pollution to what is otherwise a fast regenerating part of the city.

The planning applications have been submitted as four (4) wholly independent operations, without consideration given to their cumulative effects on an area now defined by new residential communities, pedestrian and cycling routes, recreational zones and athletics venues. There is a serious risk that hazardous chemical dust from concrete and asphalt manufacturing activities and associated vehicle fumes will raise air pollution to dangerous levels, resulting in asthma and other respiratory issues for the populations of Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

The full applications can be found on LLDC’s planning website at http://planningregister.londonlegacy.co.uk/swift/apas/run/wphappcriteria.display : PA Refs: 15/00368/FUL / 15/00400/FUL / 15/00414/FUL / 16/00194/SCRES].

The proposal is scheduled for review before the London Legacy Development Corporation’s (LLDC) planning committee as early as September 27th 2016. The LLDC was given special powers and a remit directly from the Mayor’s office to manage the Olympic Park area regeneration beyond 2012.

The LLDC is not directly accountable to local residents in the same way that the councils of Newham, Tower Hamlets or Hackney are. Consequently, the decision making of the LLDC will not always be in the interests of local residents. And it is the LLDC alone that has the final decision on whether this concrete batching development goes ahead.

The proposal of the concrete works is completely incompatible with the Mayor’s office ‘Clean Air for London Policy‘ or the current direction of residential and other developments planned for the area.

In order to protect the integrity and future development of the community, it is of paramount importance that a concerted effort be made by local residents and businesses to oppose this planning proposal NOW.

Please sign the petition today.

CHILCOT REPORT – Proud of my party for leading the way

Today is a day for reflection, as we consider the consequences of the fateful decision to go to war in Iraq.

Our first thoughts need to be with the families across the world who have grieved loved ones, experienced life-changing injuries, and witnessed destruction and despair often beyond description.

There is no justice that can compensate their loss, and today we have learned from the Chilcot Report what we all knew already in our hearts – it did not have to be this way.

Lib Dems were united in our opposition to war

For many members in my local party, the Iraq war was a genuine turning point.

Many others chose to join the Liberal Democrats when they saw Charles Kennedy step up to the challenge, in difficult times, and provide the strong, principled leadership our country so desperately needed.

In 2003, every Liberal Democrat MP voted AGAINST going to war in Iraq.

It was the right thing to do, and that has been proven again today. Sir John Chilcot’s report has shown that this was a war of choice, that options for a peaceful resolution still existed, and that our Prime Minister wilfully mislead parliament and the British people to march us into a war he had already decided to launch.

I was proud to see our leader Charles Kennedy refuse to compromise, despite enormous pressure and abuse pouring in from all sides, on the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to internationalism and respect for international law.

Charles Kennedy and Lynne Featherstone (Lib Dem MPs at the time) opposing the war

You can see Charles’ speeches below, he was a real example of principled leadership in a time of crisis. It is not just Liberal Democrats who are missing Charles today. Our whole country is all the poorer without him.

Finally, while Chilcot gives us the chance to reflect on past mistakes, we still have a duty to oppose the mistakes that our leaders are making today!

Right now, Britain risks cutting herself off from our most valuable allies and trading partners, putting millions of jobs at risk and doing massive harm to our economy. I’m proud of Tim Farron for showing equal determination and leadership to fight Brexit and put Britain back where we belong, at the heart of an open, tolerant, free, and prosperous Europe.

If you agreed with us in 2003, if you agree with us now in 2016 – it is time to join the party that is proudly and passionately fighting for the better future we all believe in.

P.S. You can see some great videos of Charles Kennedy’s speeches on Iraq in Parliament and at the anti-way rally in Hyde Park here (via Lib Dem Voice)

LONDON LIB DEMS CAMPAIGN FOR HALF PRICE FARES BEFORE 7.30AM

Lib Dem candidate for London Mayor calling for half price fares

Half Price Fares before 7.30am – join the campaign

Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor, Caroline Pidgeon, and London North East Lib Dem candidate Terry Stacy have set out plans for half price fares for journeys that start by 7:30am.

Lib Dem plans would offer half price fares on Underground, Overground and TFL Rail Services for people travelling by 7.30am. This plan builds on the Liberal Democrats pioneering work developing a one hour bus ticket.

Terry Stacy said:

This would help some of Waltham Forest’s lowest paid workers who often have to work unsocial hours. A half price fare scheme would also help to tackle overcrowding by encouraging home people to start their journeys earlier in the morning.

CAROLINE PIDGEON’S MANIFESTO FOR MAYOR OF LONDON

Caroline Pidgeon in discussion with the current Mayor, Boris Johnson

Caroline says:

London is a great global City. We must strengthen and enhance its place as the capital city of the UK at the heart of Europe.

But London also needs to work for everyone –not just the lucky few who can afford to isolate themselves from the problems facing most Londoners: a crisis in housing, cuts in community policing, crowded and expensive public transport which is ill suited to London’s dynamic economy and flexible working, overcrowded schools and poor childcare for working parents, and dangerously polluted air.

The Liberal Democrats have a positive and ambitious vision for a better London. Radical and realistic, a Liberal London would be fairer and greener, made possible because it is safer.

From cutting crime to keeping fares low, enabling world class education and better childcare for all our children, and building thousands of new homes, the Liberal Democrats have real solutions to the capital’s biggest challenges.

I am the ONLY Mayoral candidate with the experience of working in City Hall to improve the lives of ALL Londoners. Whilst the other candidates talk of their ideas for London, only I have fully worked out plans and the experience actually to make them happen.

This manifesto sets out our plans for London. We’ve based it on what Londoners say matters to them. But it’s not exhaustive – so please continue the conversation and let me know what you think.

It is time for a change. It is time for a Liberal London that works for everyone.

Caroline Pidgeon AM

Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London

You can see the full text of the Manifesto here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/ldlondon/pages/863/attachments/original/1461068787/Manifesto_Easy_Read.pdf?1461068787

NETWORK RAIL PRESS RELEASE: GOSPEL OAK – BARKING LINE

Drop-in sessions at stations from Gospel Oak to Barking ahead of eight month phased closure

  • Network Rail and Transport for London will be holding drop-in sessions at stations to answer questions
  • Work to install new infrastructure will require a phased programme of closures from June this year
  • Journeys on the route to be improved and capacity doubled with new four-carriage electric trains from early 2018

Customers and local residents are being reminded that major upgrade work to the London Overground route between Gospel Oak and Barking will start from June 2016 as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan. An eight month closure of the railway is needed to carry out this vital work.

Ahead of the closure, staff will be holding a series of drop-in sessions from Monday 18 April to Thursday 5 May. Staff will be at a different station every evening peak (16:00-19:00) to meet passengers, answer questions and explain the works and what benefits they will bring, as well as details of alternative travel arrangements.

Network Rail is delivering the project, which is funded by the Department for Transport and Transport for London (TfL). The project will see TfL introduce new four-carriage electric trains to replace the existing two-carriage diesel trains from January 2018, helping to meet growing passenger demand.

Network Rail will be carrying out major work to electrify the line in two phases. From Saturday 4 June to Sunday 25 September 2016 there will be no service between South Tottenham and Barking. Trains will run on weekdays between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham, however not at weekends. TfL will be providing rail replacement buses which will operate along the route.

From Monday 26 September to February 2017, a full closure from Gospel Oak to Barking is required.

Network Rail’s route managing director, Richard Schofield, said:

We know this is a big change for people as we carry out the improvements and that’s why we wanted to get out and have staff at every station to meet passengers and local residents and answer any questions they may have. We’ll also explain the complexity of the work and the need for an eight month closure.

This investment will transform the service on this route, doubling capacity with cleaner, quieter electric trains and is a key element of our wider Railway Upgrade Plan.

Mike Stubbs, TfL’s Director of London Overground, said:

This work will allow us to run new longer walk-through trains on the line from January 2018, doubling capacity along the route. We recognise that there will be disruption to customers while the upgrade work is carried out and I’d like to thank them for their patience in advance. We will continue to work closely with Network Rail to see if the timescales they set out can be reduced.

In addition to these drop-in sessions TfL will provide detailed station specific advice to help get customers around throughout the closure. Information will be made available via email alerts, Twitter @LDNOverground, posters and announcements in stations.

In order to electrify the railway, overhead wires and structures to support them need to be installed as well as the construction of three new switching stations. To make room for this new infrastructure, four sections of the track will be lowered, four bridges will be rebuilt and a further six modernised. TfL will also be lengthening platforms and enhancing stations to accommodate the longer trains. Network Rail has already started work on the foundations for the structures that will carry the overhead wires.

From February 2017 onwards further works to have the line ready for electric trains will take place during evenings and weekends only and will be completed by the end of June 2017.

BARKING – GOSPEL OAK LINE UPDATE

Latest news from the Barking – Gospel Oak Line User Group (BGORUG)

New electric trains on order

At a recent meeting representatives of BGORUG urged Transport for London (TfL) to take steps to ensure that the commencement of full electrification of 4-car electric trains is not subject to extended delays.

For full details see: BGORUG-mtgdoc-CLASS315s- Final

 

LIB DEM MAYORAL CANDIDATE CALLS FOR MORE POLICE

The Liberal Democrat candidate to be the next Mayor of London, Caroline Pidgeon says:

London is a great place. But violent crime is up 66% in the last 8 years. That’s not good enough.

If we’re going to cut crime then we need more police on the streets. That’s why I’m proposing an extra 3,000 police on the streets if I’m elected Mayor – 10% more than we currently have.

Can you support my petition for more police? 

Please follow this link to sign petition:

http://www.londonlibdems.org.uk/3000_more_police

Every signature makes it easier to win this argument.

It’s particularly important to get more police on tubes, buses, bus stops, trains and stations where crime is already too high. Police don’t just catch criminals – we know that they are a powerful deterrent to crimes and anti-social behaviour.

 

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT BUDGET RESPONSE

Today the Conservative chancellor slipped his way out AGAIN of making clear that the £3.5bn of ‘efficiency savings’ are in fact another £3.5bn of cuts.

This means less money for our children’s centres, less money for our libraries and less funds for fixing our crumbling roads.

It is that simple but Osborne is ducking the truth.

The Chancellor is choosing to pursue the idea of austerity, at the expense of our services and our community.

He says we must trust he is making the right decisions, but he is risking the future of many local services that we all rely on.

The last time we trusted George to make the right decision, he chose to cut benefits for the disabled by £30 a week and give tax breaks to higher earners!

His priorities are wrong. His plan is not working. Only the Lib Dems are providing the real opposition this country needs after another abysmal Tory budget.

If you oppose the Conservative budget, hitting the vulnerable whilst giving tax cuts to the wealthy, it is time to become a Liberal Democrat – and join Britain’s only real opposition.

BARKING – GOSPEL OAK LINE TO CLOSE FOR 8 MONTHS

Artist impresssion of the electric units on order

Preparing for Electrification

The line will be closed continuously between Barking and South Tottenham on 4th June 2016 until February 2017. During this period train services will continue to operate, on weekdays only, between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham and from 24th September 2016 the whole line will be closed.

When it reopens to traffic in early February, the Overhead Line Equipment (OHLE) and power supply systems will still be under
test and commissioning, requiring continuing weekend closures and are not expected to be available for electric trains to use until June 2017. Passenger services will continue to be provided by the existing 2-car diesel trains on the same timetable until spring 2018 when new 4-car electric trains are delivered.

The footbridge across Walthamstow Queen’s Road station will be closed to pedestrians from 4th June 2016 until early February 2017.

CHANGES TO RAIL REPLACEMENT BUS SERVICES

TfL has decided to change the routing of the two existing rail replacement bus services to shorten journey times and reduce the effects of traffic congestion, but these alterations will leave several stations without a rail replacement bus service. It is understood that TfL is putting the revised services out to tender around now with the commencement date being 4th June.

Revised Rail Replacement Bus Route ‘T’ Barking – Walthamstow Central
Daily from Saturday 4th June 2016, every 15 minutes, but every 10 minutes in peak periods.
 Barking Station
 Woodgrange Park station
 Wanstead Park station
 Harrow Green, Leytonstone (for Leytonstone High Road station)
 Leyton Midland Road station
 Walthamstow Central, Selborne Road RRB bus stops
Buses will then run out of service to and from their layover point at St. James Street bus station in Courtenay Mews.

Revised Rail Replacement Bus Service ‘J’ Gospel Oak – Seven Sisters
Weekends from Saturday 4th June 2016, then daily from 24th September. Double deck buses running every 15 minutes, but every 10 minutes at peak times.
 Highgate Road (for Gospel Oak station)
 Upper Holloway station
 Hornsey Road, junction with Hanley Road (for Crouch Hill station)
 Finsbury Park station
 Harringay Green Lanes station
 Seven Sisters station (High Road bus stops by Victoria Line entrance/exits)
Buses will then run out of service to and from their layover point at Ashley Road & Burdock Road by Tottenham Hale station.

TfL justifies providing no bus service between Walthamstow Central and South Tottenham by stating that the Victoria Line between Walthamstow Central and Seven Sisters is quicker.

This overlooks the fact that while the weekday Gospel Oak – South Tottenham train service is running (6th June – 23rd September) passengers will have a 5-7 minute walk and a 8-10 minute Underground journey to link up with the Barking bus and vice versa.

BARKING – GOSPEL OAK USER GROUP’S INITIAL VIEWS

BGORUG’s initial thoughts are that the Barking bus (Route ‘T’) should:
 Have an additional stop for Leyton Underground station (Warren Road/Grove Green Road)
 Be extended, on days when the Gospel Oak – South Tottenham train service is running, to South Tottenham station and on other days to Tottenham Hale to connect with an extended Route ‘J’ and also call at:
o Walthamstow South Grove (for Walthamstow Queen’s Road station)
o Blackhorse Road station
The Gospel Oak bus (Route ‘J’) should be extended in service from Seven Sisters to Tottenham Hale to provide a connection with an extended Barking bus (Route ‘T’).

TfL have told Stella Creasy MP that affected passengers will be allowed to pass through Zone 1 without additional charge.
BGORUG also thinks Crouch Hill passengers should also be granted free travel on bus routes 210, W3 & W7. We also think that a Monday – Friday express bus linking Barking with Tottenham Hale would be useful for passengers. Running from Barking every 30 minutes 06:00 – 10:30 and every 30 minutes from Tottenham Hale 15:30 – 20:00. What do you think?

YOUR VIEWS ARE WANTED

BGORUG wants to hear passengers’ views.

Should affected passengers be given free travel on other bus routes or Underground lines? They are meeting TfL on 10th March so please let them know what you think. Either email direct  to info@barking-gospeloak.org.uk or post on their website www.barking-gospeloak.org.uk at the Have Your Say! message board.