Havering’s Dial-a-Ride champion to get crunch meeting at City Hall with deputy mayor for transport

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 November 2018

Dial-a-Ride representative Michael Lloyd.

Dial-a-Ride representative Michael Lloyd.


A man representing Havering’s Dial-a-Ride drivers and users will meet with the deputy mayor for transport next month to discuss growing concerns over the future of the “vital lifeline” service.

Dial-a-Ride is run by Transport for London (TfL) for the capital’s more vulnerable residents to allow them to remain active in the community

A bus is routed to pick up as many as eight members at a time and drop them at their chosen location.

But numerous changes in the service’s scheduling system, as well as a reduction in a newly ordered fleet of replacement buses, have seen both members and drivers grow concerned for its future.

Michael Lloyd, Havering Members of Dial-A-Ride and Taxicard representative, has repeatedly requested meetings with the new deputy mayor for transport, Heidi Alexander, but until recently says he has been “wilfully ignored”.

In a formal complaint to City Hall, submitted on October 29 and seen by the Recorder, Mr Lloyd wrote: “I have been afforded the courtesy of meetings with two of your predecessors regarding London Dial-a-Ride as we all shared a common goal of making this service as efficient as it could be for its members.

“I am therefore surprised and at a loss to understand why you do not find it necessary to even reply to my emails let alone schedule the requested meeting.

A spokeswoman for Heidi Alexander told the Recorder the mayor’s office was now looking to find a date suitable for Mr Lloyd and Ms Alexander to meet.

She said: “The Dial-a-Ride service caters for more than a million journeys a year, has high customer satisfaction and an exemplary safety record.

“The new greener vehicles will meet the Mayor’s tough air quality standards four months before the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone comes into operation.

“The Deputy Mayor for Transport receives a high volume of correspondence and requests for meetings. She has thanked Mr Lloyd for his feedback and suggestions, and hopes to meet him soon when her schedule allows.”

Mr Lloyd has confirmed he will now meet the deputy mayor on December 21.

He said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Recorder for their unequivocal support over the past 10 years. Beyond any reasonable doubt it’s the Recorder’s intervention that has secured my vital meeting with Heidi Alexander the Deputy Mayor for Transport.”

As a result of the new booking system drivers are saying it is become much more common for their buses not to be full, which they say is a waste of resources.

In addition, the bus drivers say members have noted a sharp increase in the number of requested trips they are having rejected by schedulers.

A Freedom of Information request to TfL revealed that the number of journey requests refused by Dial-A-Ride schedulers across the capital since the new system was introduced in 2005 has risen by a staggering 69pc.

The number of recorded refusals in the year before the new booking system was introduced stood at 99,821, but by 2016/17 this had risen to 168,647.

Despite the increase in Dial-A-Ride’s number of refusals, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan revealed at a recent meeting at City Hall that the service received just 1,088 complaints in 2016/17, after completing 1,175,497 journeys.

This is down from 2011/12, when the service received 2,103 complaints but completed 1,375,879 journeys.

A TfL spokeswoman insisted the organisation has repeatedly invested more money into Dial-A-Ride, with operating costs rising from £20,500 in 2005 to £35,700 in 2017.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas has called for the prime minister to “move over and allow Labour to secure a deal that works for working people” after she called off a Parliamentary vote on her Brexit withdrawal agreement.

Yesterday, 15:04

A Hornchurch theatre will be getting into the festive spirit this December by hosting a special Christmas Fayre fundraiser.

Yesterday, 14:03

Longer weekday late evening trains are being put on the Fenchurch Street network through east London and Essex to help Christmas shoppers and partygoers get back home.

Yesterday, 13:00

A Collier Row widower has been invited to speak about his wife’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer at the House of Commons by Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Yesterday, 10:01

Members from a Harold Hill archery club donated food, festive items and hygiene products to their local foodbank.

Yesterday, 08:54

Around 20 firefighters were called to a blaze at a disused landfill site in Rainham.

Yesterday, 07:21

Rail services were disrupted after a person was hit by a train at Romford Station.

Yesterday, 07:00

Havering Council has 2,000 tonnes of salt, a fleet of gritters and a snow plough all at the ready to tackle the cold weather expected to hit in the next month.


From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now