Dial a Ride's future

Adrian has expressed concern at news that Dial a Ride is being prohibited by the county council from trialling different business models during the three month transitional funding period announced last week.

Adrian said, "The Borough council has always recognised the valuable role that Dial a Ride plays in providing a lifeline for people who otherwise might be largely housebound.”

“Unfortunately, the previous Labour government decided to centralise funding and responsibility at county council level from this April and the county council seem to be trying to adopt a one size fits all approach which doesn’t reflect the local differences across Lancashire.”

“The county council describe the latest three month funding as transitional. Yet at the same time they are preventing Dial a Ride from piloting new business models that might help them be sustainable in the long term. I understand that Dial a Ride wished to introduce a £2 flat charge, but the county council are insisting this must not be done. The funding situation will be the same at the end of June as it is now and so Dial a Ride should be given the freedom to pilot different approaches.”

“The county council describe the latest three month funding as transitional. Yet at the same time they are preventing Dial a Ride from piloting new business models that might help them be sustainable in the long term. I understand that Dial a Ride wished to introduce a £2 flat charge, but the county council are insisting this must not be done. The funding situation will be the same at the end of June as it is now and so Dial a Ride should be given the freedom to pilot different approaches.”

Adrian, who used to be a trusteee of a community transport organisation said he had raised the issue with the Borough council leader and with local county councillors after speaking to Dial a Ride and to other Lancashire community transport providers.

Adrian concluded, “Decisions on this at the county council appear to be taken by a small group at the top of the council. Our local county councillors knew nothing about this latest move by the county council. I hope that they will now use their influence to ensure that West Lancashire’s voice is heard.”

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