Court judgement a massive blow to disabled youngsters facing school transport cuts
Tuesday 23rd July 2019
The High Court has found that Leicestershire County Council's policy to cut school transport for 16-18 year olds is not in breach of equality for public service.
Una Summerson, Contact's Head of Policy, says: "We are bitterly disappointed but this judgment.
"The Drexler family, who have fought this case on behalf of their disabled daughter Kirsty, are an inspiration and we are frustrated that the court did not found in their favour.
"Changes to school transport is the number one concern for the families we support at this time of year. Disabled children are more likely to travel further to school, and unlike their non-disabled peers, many can't get on a bus independently when they turn 16. So school transport is fundamental to enable them to continue at school and college.
"It is grossly unfair that the law says a young person is expected to be in school or training until 18 but does not have the right to transport to enable them to get there once they turn 16. And the impact of losing school transport is huge - with parents having to give up work or disabled teenagers unable to complete their education.
"So we will press on with our campaign to close the loophole, which is having a devastating impact on some many disabled youngsters. The only saving grace is that Leicestershire council recently announced its decision to put their proposed changes on hold for a year. This means that while the council's offer of personal transport budgets still stand, parents can apply for traditional forms of transport, such as minibuses and taxis, as they have in the past."