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Fury over Dial-A-Ride taking disabled for a ride’

PUBLISHED: 13:11 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:10 05 October 2010

NEARLY half the passengers using London’s Dial-A-Ride minibuses for the disabled don’t think much of the service. It isn’t always available, lacks punctuality and flexibility when it is available and its booking system is a nightmare, according to a London Assembly survey revealed today

By Mike Brooke

NEARLY half the passengers using London’s Dial-A-Ride minibuses for the disabled don’t think much of the service.

It isn’t always available, lacks punctuality and flexibility when it is available and its booking system is a nightmare.

The findings from a London Assembly survey were revealed today in an open transport debate at City Hall.

SERIOUS PROBLEMS

“There are some serious problems with the service and we will not let this lie,” said the assembly’s transport committee chair Val Shawcross.

“There are challenges involved in operating Dial-a-Ride.

“But a service for some of the most vulnerable people in the community has to be consistently high standard—anything less is unacceptable.”

Her committee has now written to the Mayor, Boris Johnson, after the floor was given to 30 Dial-a-Ride passengers complaining at this-morning’s transport debate.

Main issues raised by passengers were availability, punctuality, lack of flexibility and problems with bookings.

Four-out-of-10 passengers in the survey rated the service poor’ or very poor’, while seven-out-of-10 said it was sometimes not able. Around 65 per cent said buses arrived significantly late, 20 minutes or more, while two-thirds said they have waited at least 10 minutes before speaking to an operator when booking or didn’t even get through.


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