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London Dial-A-Ride passengers get raw deal from TfL’

PUBLISHED: 08:00 28 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:57 05 October 2010

DISASABLE and elderly people are facing more refused trips from Transport for London’s Dial-a-Ride service, a shock report has revealed. The number of refusals has risen by half over the past two years, figures released by Mayor Boris Johnson show

By Mike Brooke

DISASABLE and elderly people are facing a growing number of refused trips from Transport for London's Dial-a-Ride service, a shock report has revealed.

Only one area in East London appears to have bucked the trend, with Newham being the only place anywhere in the capital where there were no rejected requests in the whole of April, according to the latest available figures.

The number of refusals across London has risen by half over the past two years, the figures released by Mayor Boris Johnson show.

The revelation follows questioning by the London Assembly's Lib Dem Opposition transport spokesman Caroline Pidgeon.

"Transport for London promised the disabled three years ago that the number of refused trips would halve," she said.

"Yet instead of falling, the number has gone up by more than 50 per cent. It is simply appalling that 400 trips every day are now refused by Dial-a-Ride.

"Disabled Londoners who rely on it face frequent isolation due to trips being denied to them."

Lib Dems say the new centralised computer booking system is not providing a better service as had been promised.

Transport for London's Investment Programme published in November, 2006, promised "the current refusal rate of 99,000 to be halved by better scheduling and improved call answering, with same-day bookings becoming possible."

Nearly 13,000 trips were made in the four East London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and Waltham Forest in April, with 1,400 refused, around nine per cent.

None of the trips requested in Newham were refused, while more than six per cent were refused in neighbouring Tower Hamlets, 11 per cent in Hackney and nearly 10 per cent in Waltham Forest.


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