Pensioners left in cold after Dial-a-Ride drivers hit by fines in Ilford

Pensioners were left cold and confused when their dial-a-ride bus did not turn up to collect them last week after drivers for the service were charged hundreds of pounds in fines.

The minibus due to pick them up from outside Redbridge Central Library, in Clements Road, had parked elsewhere because of the astronomical charges on October 14.

Redbridge Pensioners’ Forum chairman John Coombes said: “They had a wander around and found it eventually but it’s just not on.

“We have about 80 to 9- members and about a dozen at least are very badly disabled.

“They just can’t walk around and it’s really not safe for them around Clements Road.”

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The dial-a-ride service is a lifeline for many elderly and disabled residents who have difficulty using public transport.

The door-to-door service, operated by Transport for London (TfL), gets people to doctors’ appointments, family and the shops.

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The drop-off point outside Redbridge Central Library is popular for shopping and meetings at the library and Kenneth More Theatre.

But automatic parking tickets issued by Redbridge Council have threatened the stop by piling hundreds of pounds of fines on drivers.

In March, the council said dial-a-ride buses had been exempted from restrictions on Clements Road but Mr Coombes said one driver had been hit with fines totalling £400.

Last year it emerged that the council made more than £500,000 in tickets and fines from the 500m road in 2011/12.

At £60 a ticket, it would mean 8,575 people were charged in the year – 23 people a day.

The road has CCTV cameras and is patrolled by parking wardens to enforce vehicle and stopping restrictions.

The council did not issue a comment by the time we went to press.

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