ANGRY disabled anti-cuts campaigners voiced their opposition yesterday evening when councillors approved curbs to the Taxicard subsidized cab service.
People with mobility and learning difficulties filled the committee room at Harrow Civic Centre in Station Road to show their displeasure at Harrow Council's cabinet committee decision to restrict all Taxicard holders to just 40 journeys per financial year from October 1.
The service, which has just over 3,000 users, allows people to take social journeys in a booked black cab at a discounted rate. Those with another type of concessionary pass use to receive an allowance of 52 trips a year and those without 104 trips a year.
Angela Dias, chief executive of Harrow Association of Disabled People, handed in at the start of the meeting a petition of 363 signatures asking the Independent Labour administration to maintain the limits as there.
Fern Silverio, Harrow Council's head of service for collections and benefits, told the meeting the committee had "a very clear mandate" to introduce the cut because this option was the one favoured by respondents to the consultation, the alternatives rejected being hiking a cardholders' minimum contribution for each journey from £2.50 to £5 or a combination of rising the contribution and cutting the maximum number of trips.
Mr Silverio said the majority of cardholders did not use their full entitlement and said only 443 people would be affected by lowering the limit.
Council leader Councillor Thaya Idaikkadar (Independent Labour) agreed a dispensation to give cardholders at least 20 trips between October 1 2013 and March 31 2014 as part of transitional arrangement to ensure nobody would be left without any journeys for the last six months of the financial year.