Dial a Ride

Door-to-Door transport in London – delivering a user-led experience

Date published: 
28 April 2017

Key facts

The door-to-door transport services in the Capital are; Dial-a-Ride, Taxicard, CapitalCall, Community Transport, NHS Patient Transport Service and Adult Social Services/Children Services transport.

Door-to-door services are a vital resource for thousands of Londoners with limited mobility.

But problems with availability, reliability and pricing continue to make the service inefficient.

Could personal budgets help and will London ever have an integrated door-to-door transport system?

Keith Prince AM who released the report ‘Door-to-Door Transport in London – Delivering a user-led experience’, on behalf of the London Assembly Transport Committee, points out that despite a widespread consensus that integration should happen, progress toward this goal has been slow.

Our findings

  1. Users of door-to-door services should be able to make one phone call – or visit one app or website – to arrange a journey. They should be able to access all available services from this one source, and receive the most appropriate service for their needs. This is the vision for door-to-door services that has been promised to Londoners, and not delivered.
  2. We are disappointed that little further progress has been made to integrate door-to-door services in London, after many years of discussions and with various plans having been drawn up. Moves towards delivering a more personalised service will be delayed if integration is not delivered. Although we note that TfL and its partners are committed to integration, clearly this agenda has not been given sufficient priority.
  3. The potential value of personal budgets to door-to-door service users, in terms of user choice, flexibility and better targeting of resources, is such that the proposal clearly warrants more detailed consideration than TfL has previously given it. We agree with the position that the immediate priority for TfL and its partners is to deliver the promised integration of services. Introducing personal budgets should be explored as a key element of a new, integrated service.
  4. Some concerns have been raised about different impacts on service users and providers. We take these seriously, but are of the view that none presents an insurmountable challenge. Reform is always difficult. There is no evidence to assume that personal budgets would necessarily lead to a loss of service for some users, or make some services unviable.
  5. We believe this proposal would lend itself to being piloted in one borough, to assess the wider implementation challenges and to identify how the system will work in practice. If successful, it could be rolled out across London.

Recommendations

  • TfL should set out a timed plan for implementation of its roadmap toward integration of door-to-door services.
  • TfL should explore the feasibility of introducing a system of personal budgets to an integrated door-to-door service, with a timed action to do this. A pilot scheme should also be introduced to test the concept.