Dial-a-ride and disabled parents

Meeting: 
MQT on 2011-01-26
Session date: 
January 26, 2011
Reference: 
2011/0297
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

The Disabled Parents' Network (DPN) have told me that, despite being eligible for Dial-a-Ride, many of their London members do not use the service because of an apparent inability to accommodate their young children. This would appear to be due to a lack of availability of suitable car-seats for Dial-a-Ride vehicles. Further, when Dial-a-Ride offer to send an alternative taxi or private hire vehicle these are often unavailable, which therefore negates Dial-a-Ride as a transport option for this group of passengers. I understand that Dial-a-Ride informed DPN over a year ago that a possible suitable car-seat was being investigated but nothing has been heard since. Please outline what Dial-a-Ride is doing to accommodate parents of children aged a)under 12 months and b)over 12 months and their children?

Answer

Answer for Dial-a-ride and disabled parents

Answer for Dial-a-ride and disabled parents

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Dial-a-Ride is committed to offering an equal standard of service to all its members, including those who are parents of small children. To this end, Dial-a-Ride uses three different models of child vehicle restraints suitable for carrying children from birth until around a year old; from one year until around six years old and from six years old until around aged 12, when a child can usually travel without an additional vehicle restraint to a standard seatbelt.

Until November 2010, there had been an issue with carrying infants of under a year old on Dial-a-Ride in house vehicles, as children of this age require a rear facing (Stage 0) vehicle restraint and this design was incompatible with the seatbelt arrangements on Dial-a-Ride's old 'Sprinter' minibuses. However, with the introduction of the new 'Bluebird' low floor minibuses it has become possible to source a suitable infant vehicle restraint and thus provide journeys for parents of very young babies using the in-house fleet.

Prior to this, bookings that included a child under a year of age would still be accommodated, but would be outsourced to one of Dial-a-Ride's service partners who use a range of saloon style cars and 'people carriers' that were able to fit rear facing Stage 0 child restraints.

Dial-a-Ride will be contacting the Disabled Parents' Network to ask them to circulate up to date information to its members about the service that can be offered to disabled parents; TfL hopes this will result in increased take up of the service by them.