Labour Shadow Lead for Transport, Councillor Jim Robbins, has raised concerns over council efforts to cut funds from transport services to the disabled and elderly, currently delivered by Swindon Dial a Ride. In the Council budget £100K has been identified as a saving from “a review of community transport service provision in order to achieve value for money whilst minimising impact on the service users”.
Dial a Ride’s contract with Swindon Council is due for renewal in September so it is thought this will be implemented in the new community transport contract.
Over many years the Swindon Dial a Ride service has been under threat with their contract being available to other transport companies for tendering and also through cuts being proposed to the service.
Labour’s Shadow Lead for Transport, Councillor Jim Robbins, said:
“This is a simple cut in funding for an essential service. The Dial a Ride service was set-up to reduce isolation and give the elderly and disabled an opportunity to have a better quality of life. A cut in this service will simply reduce the number of people and frequency of transport services provided by Dial a Ride.
This proposed cut appears to have been made without any consideration of the effects it will have on Dial a Ride’s service users. These are some of the most disabled people who simply cannot get around the town without specialised transport. The Cabinet say they will minimise the impact of this cut on service users but currently have no clue how they will do this. Nice words mean nothing if it is not backed-up with plans and actions. The effects of this cut are completely unknown and that it a big worry for me and could be a big worry for Dial a Ride service users.
This proposed cut is just one in a long line of proposed cuts to the Dial a Ride service and I think it shows that the Conservative administration have never really grasped the value of this service.”