Hundreds of disabled Londoners have had their their requests for the Dial-a-Ride service refused every day, as TfL struggles to cope with the demand.
The service was relaunched last week, after a series of headlines about the many Londoners being left stranded by the service.
In the lead up to the relaunch, users were sent an email stating that:
From Monday 26th October, when customers call us they will notice some new features including:
- Automatic estimates of how long it will take before an operator can take their call
- Easier to understand options to choose from
- Music whilst on you are on hold
They were told that the old contact numbers for the service would no longer work, and were given a new set of numbers instead.
They were then urged to phone 020 7466 0251 if they were still experiencing problems with the service.
Unfortunately almost two weeks after this service was launched, the number which is still listed on the TfL website remains completely offline:
Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee and Liberal Democrat AM Caroline Pidgeon said today:
"If the Mayor simply ensured that Dial-a-Ride users were listened to he would not make the insulting claim that Dial-a-Ride's service is continuing to improve.""It is already bad enough that Dial-a-Ride users face extensive delays in booking trips but now every day 400 trips are refused to Dial-a-Ride users across London - a figure far higher than two or three years ago."
Dial-a-Ride is still largely popular and was made free for all users at the start of 2008. However, last year Boris johnson also placed a cap on the funding for the service.
This cap, along with the rising demand for the service, means that in some parts of London almost 20% calls were refused this summer.
But with those people now not even able to make their views about the service known, the real level of dissatisfaction could be even higher still.