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Dial-a-Ride complaints pile up by postbag loads at City Hall

PUBLISHED: 19:21 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:51 05 October 2010

COMPLAINTS about the poor service of London's much-criticised Dial-a-Ride' buses for the elderly and the disabled have been arriving at City Hall by the postbag-load. Now the London Assembly today (Wednesday) has called on the Mayor to revamp the operation after claims of "poor standard of service"

COMPLAINTS about the poor service of London’s much-criticised Dial-a-Ride’ buses for the elderly and the disabled have been arriving at City Hall by the postbag-load.

Now the London Assembly today (Wednesday) has called on the Mayor to revamp the operation after claims of “poor standard of service.”

It also urges the Mayor to think again about capping the door-to-door Taxicard’ service which is putting financial pressure on town halls.

The Assembly voted for Boris Johnson to review both the Dial-a-Ride and Taxicard schemes following continued complaints from vulnerable passengers often left stranded or suffer lengthy waits for return trips.

It also criticizes the decision to cap Mayor’s contribution to the Taxicard scheme at £12.7 million. The door-to-door service for those with impaired mobility is now placing more burden on already over-stretched local authority budgets.

“Complaints from Dial-a-Ride users appear at City Hall in postbags at an alarming rate,” said Assembly Member Darren Johnson.

“These problems affect people who rely on door-to-door transport to go about their everyday lives.

“The last thing the Mayor should do is starve these schemes of cash.”

Members passed a resolution noting a continuing volume of complaints about vulnerable passengers left stranded in unsafe locations or in bad weather, waiting for more than an hour for return trips and long delays getting through to the call centre.

The resolution was put forward by Caroline Pidgeon who said: “It is an absolute disgrace that a service used by the most vulnerable is failing miserably. They are least able to cope with unreliability.”

The assembly is insisting the Mayor undertakes a full review of Dial-a-Ride and looks at alternative solutions if Transport for London can’t run it to an acceptable standard.

Advertiser City Hall correspondent

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