CAMBRIDGE City Council’s Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee has approved proposals to further improve the Taxicard scheme for disabled people on low incomes.
The aim is to provide a more flexible scheme for existing members and attract other residents who may be eligible to join the scheme.
The Taxicard scheme helps people pay for taxi journeys by providing them with a book of vouchers, each currently entitling them to £3.80 (from 1 April) off the cost of a taxi fare. Vouchers can currently be used on fares of £4.80 or more with the Taxicard member paying at least £1 towards the fare.
From the 1 April 2021, the scheme changed to support its members during the pandemic in the form of allowing members to choose to use two vouchers per trip if they so wished. Up until then the use of only one voucher per trip had been permitted.
From 1 October 2021, Taxicard members will be issued with a book of vouchers made up of £5 and £1, with members able to choose to use their vouchers how they wish, while still paying at least £1 towards the fare.
Cambridge City Council Taxicard vouchers will also be permitted for use by members of Cambridge Dial-a-Ride, on their mini-buses. The application form criteria will be amended to include the Higher Care Component of the Disability Living Allowance and Daily Living Enhanced Personal Independence Payment, thereby making more residents eligible.
The council will carry out a further review within six months from 1 October to see how the new scheme is bedding in. It is hoped the findings of this further review and consultation with members will be reported to Planning and Transport Scrutiny Committee in January 2022, with any further proposals or adjustments to the scheme being implemented from 1 April 2022.
Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Transport, said: “The Taxicard scheme gives support to people who are disabled and on low incomes and we want to make sure its as accessible to as many people as possible.
“We adapted the scheme in April in response to the pandemic and I am pleased that we have been able to agree further improvements to help those people who are reliant on taxis to get around.
“These improvements will help more people to take part in the scheme and support some of our more vulnerable residents. We will review progress within six months to see how the improvements are bedding in.
“I am also pleased that Taxicard members who are also members of Cambridge Dial-a-Ride will now be able to redeem their vouchers on Dial-a-Ride’s minibuses.
“This is good news for people who rely on Dial-a-Ride and I am pleased we can support this great service and what they do.”
For more information on eligibility criteria, how the Taxicard scheme works and how to apply to become a member please visit https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/taxicard or phone 01223 457000.