Outrage as TfL withdraw funding from Kingston’s Capital Call scheme

Liberal Democrat Councillor Bob Steed has spoken of his “outrage” at Transport for London’s decision to withdraw funding from Kingston’s Capital Call scheme.

Capital Call was a complementary service to Taxicard introduced in 2004 by TfL which provided subsidised door-to-door transport for people with mobility issues living in London boroughs where there is a shortage of London taxis. Today it was announced that Kingston’s Capital Call scheme will cease, with effect from 31 March 2009.

Cllr Steed, the Executive member for Transport at the Royal Borough of Kingston said: “I am outraged that the Capital Call service has been withdrawn from Kingston, particularly as there was no proper consultation with the Council.

“The means of communication to those affected by this decision was very poor, and I believe it shows a complete lack of respect for those who use the scheme.

“Residents who rely on Taxicard for their daily transport needs will be burdened with significant additional costs to maintain their independence.

“I am particularly concerned for people living in the borough who are visually impaired. Sight loss prevents people from driving and can also lead to serious difficulties for using public transport unaccompanied. The end of Capital Call scheme will have a serious negative impact on the mobility of Kingston’s blind and visually impaired residents.”

Cllr Rolson Davies, Executive member for Health and Adult Services added: “I am appalled at the Tory Mayor Boris Johnson for withdrawing the subsidy for the Capital Call scheme. While we are working locally to promote independent living, this decision will let down some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

“As the mobility component of the government’s Disability Living Allowance is limited for visually impaired people, the additional loss of the Capital Call scheme is a insult to mobility needs of some of our local people” he said.

“Kingston's Liberal Democrat Council will fight Boris on this decision.”

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