Unite, Britain's biggest union, has condemned Transport for London's decision to close the London Dial-a-Ride’s Paddington depot which the union believes will lead to disabled and elderly citizens from five boroughs losing out on an adequate transport service.
The London Dial-a-Ride Paddington depot is to close on Friday 30 November 2012 and the service is to operate out of north Wembley. It serves the boroughs of Camden, Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and the City of London.
A business case has been made by London Dial-a-Ride to close down its Paddington depot on the 30 November 2012 but Unite, which represents the staff at the service, believe the analysis is deeply flawed and inconsistent with the available data published on behalf of the mayor of London's office.
Unite believes Paddington has been kept underresourced for a number of years and this has contributed to the closure decision. Customers for this depot have, therefore, been frustrated to a much greater level than other members of Dial-a-Ride across London in accessing this essential service, and many have been compelled where possible, to make alternative travel arrangements. Moving the service to north Wembley will only serve to stretch the service even further with drivers having to travel much greater distances in the busy London traffic.
Unite regional officer Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: "The decision to close down the Paddington depot is flawed. Without a review, disabled and elderly citizens in five London boroughs face getting a worse service from London Dial-a-Ride.
"Unite is calling for an immediate suspension of the closure until a proper review has been conducted. Rather than closing this depot, TfL should be properly resourcing it to ensure the elderly and disabled get a proper transport service. The union has also written to local politicians and local interest groups to make this point"
Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Notes to editors:
- London Dial-a-Ride is part of Transport for London (TfL) that provides multi-occupancy door to door transport service for people with a permanent or long term disability or health problems who are unable, or virtually unable to use conventional public transport.
- Only members can use London Dial-a-Ride. To become a member a person must have a permanent or long-term disability which means they are unable to use public transport some or all of the time or must be over the age of 85.
- Currently London Dial-a-Ride operates out of six depots in Paddington, north Wembley, Palmers Green, Woodford, Orpington and Wimbledon. There are also sub depots in Bermondsey, Croydon and Southall.
- Unite the union is the recognised union for around 600 London Dial-a-Ride drivers and management control centre employees.