Monday, March 5, 2012

Charged with being disabled

Is it right to charge learning and physically disabled young people for transport to schools when able bodied children get transport free?

Politically I'd have thought this was a 'no brainer' but apparently Lancashire County Council seem to think it's a good idea. Under their proposed new charging policies they're bringing in, disabled young people needing specialist transport to and from school are to be charged up to £1,200 a year for transport they've previously had free. This is apparently justified as it will help to make them more independent - not.

If you're an able bodied person who lives over 2 miles from school mostly you get transport paid for by the County Council.

I didn't quite believe it when I found out about this and was worried it might be someone misunderstanding and trying to paint things blacker than they were, but it really is true. In response to the formal consultation, the parents of young people affected are asking for this to be rescinded and are prepared to go to the Equality and Human Rights Commission if need be - I really do hope the politicians see sense and continue providing free transport before this happens. Being disabled is already more expensive than being able bodied. The people providing services for them shouldn't be making it even more expensive - and certainly not on the grounds of encouraging independence!


  1. "The people providing services for them shouldn't be making it even more expensive - and certainly not on the grounds of encouraging independence!"

    I agree. This is against human rights especially the right of the disabled. Independence will never be acquired through adding on the expense of these children. What are they thinking?

    Peny@scrub uniforms

  2. Not sure they are thinking. They're just putting charges on for everything they can get away with. With a bit of luck and a lot of shouting we may be able to get them to change their mind.

  3. Next year my I will have to pay £660 for my daughter to travel to and from her special school, I already pay £330 a year for my non disabled daughter to travel. I'm not sure why the fee is double, as my disabled daughter's school is closer!I am unable to take either to school, but what frustrates me is that if i could transport my daufghter to her special school, I would be provided with a mileage allowance. I work 20 miles from home my husband work 65 miles from home so this is impossible for us.

    1. This is patently unjust - not to say stupid of the authority. Unfortunately it isn't uncommon. Each local authority is making up it's own rules about charging and they seem more concerned with raising as much cash as possible regardless of the impact on people. The more we make this public the less likely they will be to get away with it.