Monday, December 29, 2008

Latest Dial A Ride Disaster

I returned today to find Dial a Ride on the front page of the Romford Recorder for all the wrong reasons.

Local pensioner Ernie Forrester booked a Christmas Day lift to visit his relatives in Collier Row back in November. He assumed that everything was agreed until they rang him just a week before Christmas to say they could no longer provide the service because of a shortage of drivers.

Ernie has had problems with the service before and Havering association for people with disabilities have raised concerns about the service which they claim no longer works.

Back in November I visited Dial a Ride HQ in Southwark to see the work they were doing to improve the call centre service following the installation of new software. They claimed that problems were being overcome and I wrote a positive piece on this blog, in the expectation that the service would improve.

However the litany of complaints continues and in December the London assembly passed a motion condemning the service with cross party support. In the New Year the transport committee will be examining the performance of Dial a Ride and, although I am no longer on the committee, I hope that representatives from Havering will be on hand to recount their evidence of the service's shortcomings.

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