Disabled not given enough time over Dial-A-Ride changes, TfL told

Transport bosses have come under fire at City Hall for not giving the disabled long enough to respond to changes on whether new passengers would be entitled to use London’s Dial-A-Ride bus service.

The London Assembly is questioning whether Transport for London is “playing fair” by giving disability groups only three weeks to respond to a consultation on next month’s changes to the way eligibility is assessed.

The consultation asks for responses by April 15 as TfL expects changes to the Dial-a-Ride application process to start in April.

But that doesn‘t seem much time, the Assembly’s transport chair Val Shawcross has told the transport authority.

“Three weeks to respond on changes about to happen to a service people rely on does not seem nearly long enough,” she said.

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“This is not the first time we’ve raised concerns that disabled people are not properly consulted when there are changes afoot at Dial-a-Ride.”

She has written to TfL querying the “short consultation period.”

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But transport bosses say any changes would only affect new applicants—not passengers currently using Dial-A-Ride.

A TfL spokesman said: “The proposed changes are to the application process for new passengers who don’t qualify under the automatic eligibility criteria.

“We are consulting those who represent potential future applicants, including local authorities, disability and older people’s organisations and mobility forums.”

But TfL promised it would consider extending the deadline for anyone who asked for more time.

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