Centenarian’s long, long wait in GP surgery for a cab under Taxicard scheme
21 June, 2019 — By Emily Finch
Back home: Mary Cosh relaxes at home
THE father of a receptionist at a GP surgery stepped in to take a centenarian home after she was left waiting three-and-half hours for a taxi following a routine appointment.
Mary Cosh, who is 100 years old, had finished her morning appointment at St Peter’s Street Medical Practice in Angel on Friday when she was made to wait.
She believes the taxi firm “just didn’t think I was worth their time and that’s why they kept me waiting”.
Ms Cosh, a celebrated historian of Islington and Scotland, said it was a “ridiculous situation” and “rather upsetting” that she was left to wait so long by the taxi firm.
She relies on the London Taxicard scheme, which allows people with disabilities or mobility impairments to travel in the capital’s licensed radio taxis – black cabs – at reduced fares.
“I’ve never had to wait anywhere that long. The worst thing was I didn’t have a newspaper with me for once,” she said.
Ms Cosh, who frequently relies on a wheelchair to get around, said one of the receptionists at the GP surgery eventually had to call a relative to take her back home to her house a mile away.
“I think it was her father who drove me home,” she said.
“It was rather a joke at the beginning, but now it’s very serious. My appointment was at 9.30am and it was 1pm when I finally walked out. That’s a long time.
“I just don’t think the GP surgery could get a driver to accept me,” she said. Advice on the website of London Councils, the body which represents the capital’s local authorities, warns that taxis might not be available “in some circumstances” under the Taxicard scheme.
It says: “Every effort will be made to supply you with a vehicle, but at certain times it may be difficult to find one and it may arrive late. In some circumstances none may be available.
“This is because the number of available vehicles varies continuously throughout the day and demand can sometimes be greater then supply.”