Council U-Turn Over Taxicard Charges
Cuts to transport scheme for elderly and disabled to be cancelled
Ealing Council is reversing a decision to cut a vital transport
lifeline for the elderly and disabled.
Taxicard provides subsidised door to door transport for those who cannot use bus and train services.
It allows members to book a taxi for reduced rates, with the difference between the rate they pay and the rate charged by the taxi paid by local Councils.
From 4th January cuts to the Taxicard scheme meant that most members would be allowed only one return trip a week within a few miles of their home, and would be be barred from double swiping, which allows members to use two of their allocated trips in one journey.
Lianna Etkind, Campaigns Coordinator at campaigning group Transport for All, said:
“The cuts and changes to Taxicard will have a significant impact on the mobility and freedom of tens of thousands of disabled and older Londoners. It is an immensely popular service as it provides an accessible way of getting around our city.“
“The Mayor’s capping of Transport for London’s contribution to Taxicard, coupled with the rush by local authorities to make short term cuts, has resulted in Taxicard members being left high and dry.“
“The knock-on cost to social services and the NHS as disabled and older people become housebound and lose their independence has not been considered“.
Forum member John Kennedy raised the issue on Ealing Today.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz responded and told him that the original decision was made 'by officers on guidance given to them from London Councils'.
He announced that ' having been made aware of these changes we have taken the following steps;
' Double swiping will be allowed again from 1st February. The decision to restrict has been reversed. Charges and subsidies will revert back to original levels as soon as we can do this.'
26 January 2011