A Dundee carer has criticised the roll-out of the council’s new members-only bus service after an end to discounted taxi fares for the disabled.
Community campaigner John Bisset said he has been bombarded with concerns from worried carers and disabled users of the taxicard scheme, which is set to end on Saturday.
The council estimates that about £150,000 per year will be saved by scrapping the scheme, which entitled users to £2 off taxi journeys.
The local authority has pledged that £50,000 of this will be reinvested in the initiative — the first part of which, Blether Buses, was launched this week. It introduces two council minibuses that will deliver a hail and ride service in Dryburgh/Lochee and Clepington/Stobswell.
John said: “I know of so many people who are going to be affected by this and they don’t know how it is going to work.”
The Blether Bus service is part of a package of measures that council chiefs say will improve choice for travellers.
An easy-on service provided by Scottish Blue is also being launched using its wheelchair accessible minibuses. For £5, it offers a door-to-door service to anywhere in Dundee, collecting passengers from their home and taking them to a destination of their choosing.
John, however, fears the new services may not be suitable. He said: “In this new easy-on scheme, each journey might take hours as they have to drop off different people. How will so many people be assisted by one driver?”
A council spokesman said: “As well as improvements in bus service accessibility, the launch of easy-on and the development of new services using the council’s in-house fleet it is important to recognise that taxis will still be available.
“The ending of the taxicard scheme will not directly affect the availability of taxis. It does, however, remove the existing £2 discount.”