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Warrington parents continue protest over planned school transport cuts
11:30am Monday 11th March 2013 in News
WORRIED parents of disabled children are continuing to protest against school transport cuts.
Warrington Borough Council is set to confirm the decision to stop offering transport to school for some special needs children at a Town Hall meeting of its executive board on Monday.
It says the changes represent a ‘fairer system’ but parents disagree.
Gail Hall, of Withers Avenue, Orford, has a son - Matthew, aged 13, - who has severe epilepsy and autism.
Matthew currently gets a specialist bus to Fox Wood Special School on Chatfield Drive in Birchwood but faces losing it.
He can have 12 seizures a day meaning it is not safe for Gail to transport him in the car without assistance in case he has a fit.
Mum-of-two Gail, chairman of the Warrington Parents and Carers action group, said: “It’s going to be tough on us.
“Matthew has most of his seizures in the morning.
“It’s good for me to be able to put him on a bus with an escort where he can be safe.
“By the time he has gone on the bus it’s like I have done a day’s work.
“This transport is vital for many parents.
“I’d love for Matthew to be able to go to a mainstream school with my daughter.
“I didn’t choose this life.”
Louise Fiddler is also part of WAPAC.
Her severely autistic son also faces losing his school transport.
She said: “We are all really worried about this transport issue.
“It’s the hypocrisy.
“Warrington Borough Council place our children in special schools because of their disabilities.
“Then they say they aren't obliged to transport our children to school, they only have to assist.
“This is a massive turnaround and will have major repurcussions, because some parents will have to give up work.”
If the cuts are approved around 500 children will be affected.
From April, children will be assessed to decide what transport they get.
They will be offered the lowest cost form of transport, or have it stopped altogether.
It means some who currently get a taxi or specialist bus will have to use public transport or be driven by parents.
The changes would come into force from September.
Warrington Borough Council says the new system will allow it to support vulnerable families more effectively.