Dial-a-Ride services at odds

Dial-a-Ride services at odds

Worthing and Adur Dial-a-Ride services are at odds over a proposed agreement to work together.  Both Adur District and Worthing Borough Councils have encouraged provision of a joint Dial-a-Ride service for  several years.   The two Cabinets, known together as the Joint Strategic Committee, will consider a report on Thursday (February 28th)and decide how to take the matter forward.

In 2009 the councils commissioned consultants Community Transport Association (CTA) to undertake a feasibility study for a joint service between Adur Community Transport and Worthing Dial-a-Ride.  The study identified the scope to generate additional income through greater diversification and operational efficiencies with a combined Dial-a-Ride service across Adur and Worthing.

The Councils thought a joint service would be in place by November 2010 with a joint booking service but this failed to materialise.  In the meantime a new charity to run Worthing Dial-a-Ride started from April 2010 – Southern Services.   After false starts Southern Services submitted a proposal to run a joint service with Adur Community Transport in June 2011.  Again no agreement and Southern Services resolved in February 2012 to run a service across Adur and Worthing with or without Adur Community Transport.

Frustrated the Joint Strategic Committee in early 2012 invited both organisations to bid for delivery of the joint service with a 3 year service level agreement (SLA).  Only Southern Services submitted a formal proposal with agreement to extend its service to cover Adur.  Southern Services expect to achieve 4,000 trips per annum – higher than the current 3,000 achieved by Adur Community Transport.

Adur Community Transport consider it is not feasible to run a service across Worthing and Adur and do not believe their customers would receive the same level of service.  They also believe the Councils are giving an “undue bias” towards Worthing Dial-a-Ride service. The Councils officers do not accept this is the case.

The Joint Strategic Committee is recommended to:  note the current situation and to agree, in principle, to enter into a 3 year Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Dial-a-Ride Southern Services to deliver an extended service covering Worthing Borough and Adur Districts.

The Joint Strategic Committee is on Thursday (February 28th) in the Council Chamber, Adur Civic Centre, Shoreham at 6.30 pm.