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Serious concerns over renewal of Cityfleet’s Taxicard contract

Added: 9 April 2018 | Updated: 10 April 2018

CityFleet has retained the Taxicard contract for London, according to the specialist website TaxiPoint. Transport for All has a number of concerns about this decision.

Taxicard (as well as other door-to-door services) is a lifeline for many thousands of Disabled and older people. The scheme, set up by Ken Livingstone when he was leader of the Greater London Council in the 1980s, provides vital subsidised door-to-door transport for Disabled and older people who have mobility impairments and difficulty in using public transport. It allows Taxicard holders to make a set number of subsidised journeys in licenced London taxis per year.

Serious concerns

We are very concerned at the news that Cityfleet will retain the Taxicard contract. CityFleet supply taxis to service the Taxicard scheme via ComCab as well as supplementing the taxi fleet with private hire vehicles.

Over the past years, Taxicard users have raised to our Advice Line a number of important issues that have never been resolved by Cityfleet when it held the previous contract:

“London’s growing older population means that Taxicard cannot be the poor family relation in our city’s transport network. We will urgently seek assurances from London Councils and Transport for London (TfL) that there will be major improvements in this vital service” says Alan Benson, Chair of Transport for All.

Earlier this year, there were claims and counter-claims over the future funding of this vital service. London Councils have secured an agreement with Transport for London to ensure funding for the Taxicard scheme is not reduced in 2018-19.

Take action to end the postcode lottery

Over the last seven years, Taxicard has been the victim of cuts that have seen the scheme become expensive for many to use. These cuts have been mainly due to London boroughs reducing or cutting their contributions to the scheme altogether. This has resulted in a postcode lottery of service provision with wildly different trip allocations across London. An example: Disabled people in Newham are being offered 144 trips whilst Harrow offers 40 trips a year.

In addition, many boroughs have a strict banding system that gives different trips according to strict eligibility criteria which often force Disabled and older people to give up their Freedom Passes to get more trips.

As the local and Mayoral Elections are coming soon, we urge our members and supporters to challenge their Councillor/Mayoral candidates and questions them about what they will do to support and improve Taxicard services.

In the longer term, TfA believes that the Mayor and TfL should take complete control of Taxicard. Only then can we end the postcode lottery of service provision and see a levelling up of the service.

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