London Assembly members have called for immediate action to improve the quality of London’s door-to-door transport services.
A report published by the Assembly’s transport committee says performance within Dial-a-Ride, which offers pre-booked transport for older and mobility impaired Londoners, is below required levels and that the service’s policy of limiting journeys to five miles is placing “an arbitrary restriction on its members’ mobility.”
On the Taxicard service, which offers subsidised cab trips, today’s report warns that higher usage charges have led to falling trip numbers and “a significant underspend” in the budget.
There’s criticism of Transport for London’s plans to axe the Capital Call without first developing a plan to re-invest the savings in other services.
AMs also say the NHS Patient Transport services “are below expected standards in many parts of London, and need to be reviewed urgently.”
The report calls for a mix of immediate and long-term improvements, including introducing and enforcing minimum service standards, making it easier for users to access services by introducing a single application process for all schemes, and a single customer feedback system for Dial-a-Ride, Taxicard, Capital Call and NHS Patient Transport.
Committee chair Caroline Pidgeon AM said: “Getting around a vast city like London is hard enough as an able-bodied person – it’s even harder if you have mobility problems.
“We’ve had many complaints from door-to-door transport users about requests being refused, vehicles arriving late or not at all, and problems with getting through to call centres.
“As London’s population changes, TfL has no plan to increase services, Capital Call faces being closed, London Councils are underspending the Taxicard budget and NHS Patient Transport Services need an urgent review.
“Door-to-door transport is clearly in a mess and it needs some attention and improvement immediately.”