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Visually impaired Clayhall resident has to wait half an hour on phone every time he uses public transport

PUBLISHED: 17:53 29 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:30 29 August 2017

Jeevan Bhatia is visually impaired and  fed up of the long waits calling up TfL to find about journey routes. All pictures Ken Mears.

Jeevan Bhatia is visually impaired and fed up of the long waits calling up TfL to find about journey routes. All pictures Ken Mears.

Archant

A visually impaired Clayhall resident has to wait more than 30 minutes on the phone to check his journey every time he uses public transport.

Jeevan uses a white cane when he is out and about.Jeevan uses a white cane when he is out and about.

Jeevan Bhatia, 62, said he spends 1/16 of his day on the phone to Transport for London (TfL), which costs him more than £3 a time on his landline.

Due to his restricted eye sight he cannot use a website to check for delays and disruptions to services.

“This is a public issue for every Londoner and visitor,” he told the Recorder.

“I have to listen to a tape recorded message on repeat for at least half an hour before someone answers and then I have to pay for it.

He said he found it better when the service could be reached under a different prefix.He said he found it better when the service could be reached under a different prefix.

“Do they think my time is free? I am paying for a service that I don’t get - What’s the point of calling it a public service.”

Mr Bhatia, was caught out over the Bank holiday, when he had to make a trip to the hospital on Monday morning.

Instead of going through the rigmarole of calling up TfL he got up early and just hoped a bus would turn up to take him there.

“When Tony Blair came into power they changed the number from 0207 to a 0343 and since then it has been terrible,” he added.

“TFL should answer questions promptly, there is no dignity.

“It shouldn’t cost that much to call, I can’t even imagine how much that would be from a mobile.”

Claire Mann, TfL’s director of bus operations, said she was sorry to hear about Mr Bhatia’s experience.

“We take any complaint very seriously and a member of our travel mentoring service will be in touch to offer support and advice,” she said.

“We’re working hard to constantly improve our services across London and are investing to ensure they are accessible for all.”

A TfL spokesman said it offers a free travel service to help residents use public transport and offer advice on accessible routes.

“We can provide a mentor to come with you for your first few journeys to help you gain confidence and become an independent traveller.

“Mentoring is free of charge and can be provided Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm by dialling 02030544361.”

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