Bid to improve London’s unreliable’ Dial-a-Ride transport

THE much-criticised Dial-a-Ride bus service is being investigated by City Hall after complaints from passengers that it’s not reliable. A new investigation by the London Assembly is to see if there’s been any improvement after a heated public debate between Transport for London bosses and Dial-a-Ride passengers last March

By Mike Brooke

THE much-criticised Dial-a-Ride bus service is being investigated by City Hall after complaints from passengers that it's not reliable.

A new investigation by the London Assembly is to see if there's been any improvement after a heated public debate between Transport for London bosses and Dial-a-Ride passengers at City Hall last March.

It is looking at whether TfL's efforts to solve the 'unreliability' problems are paying off.

"Dial-a-Ride is plagued by ongoing problems that leave some of the most vulnerable people without a reliable service," said the Assembly's transport chair Caroline Pidgeon.

"Our investigation is looking at whether we should bring together all the different services for people with special transport requirements to give a better service altogether."

The Assembly's transport committee wrote to Mayor Boris Johnson last year highlighting problems including lack of availability, poor punctuality and long waiting times when booking over the phone.

A survey of 200 passengers had shown 40 per cent rated the service 'poor' or 'very poor'.

The committee's investigation is also looking at an idea to integrate all door-to-door transport services after criticism of the wide variation and lack of coordination from area to area. This would include Taxicard, NHS and local borough transport services as well as Dial-a-Ride.