Over many months, Lib Dem Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon received serious complaints about the dial-a-ride services provided by Transport for London. On 3rd September Caroline met Paul Blackwell, General Manager of dial-a-ride, to discuss the many issues that had been raised by dial-a-ride users and to hear about what TfL are doing and have put in place to improve the service.
“It is quite clear that the centralisation of the service has caused huge problems, particularly in certain parts of London, and that their computer system has had real problems. I am trying to get to the bottom of how much the computer system has cost Londoners” commented Caroline.
“I have requested further statistics, going back as far as possible, so that I can really get a clear picture of the maximum length of time users are having to hold on the telephone before speaking to someone. We also need to know how often dial-a-ride are unable to provide a service.
“I pressed Mr Blackwell to examine closely cases where they are not able to provide a journey and look at how they can amend their service to ensure that as many journeys as possible are provided” added Caroline.
As part of the meeting Caroline visited the call centre and listened in to some calls and watched how the system operates. Caroline also looked at and travelled in one of the new dial-a-ride vehicles which will make the journeys more comfortable for everyone and offer genuine flexibility in terms of numbers of wheelchairs and scooters etc that can be accommodated. Dial-a-ride are now beginning to roll out these vehicles across the service.