School bus nightmare for family of disabled child after free transport cut by council

A six-year-old disabled boy whose father is serving in Iraq has free school transport cut by the council with just three weeks notice.

Sunday, 28th July 2019, 11:16 am
School bus provision has been cut, causing issues for many families (Photo: TSPL)

P2 pupil Archie, has a rare genetic disorder that causes behavioural issues and learning difficulties.

He is transported to and from Braidburn School each day by a specially organised minibus.

However, Archie’s family has now received a letter from Edinburgh City Council stating that Archie’s transport will no longer run when term begins in less than a month.

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Mother Francesca, whose other son, Jacob, is also disabled and attends school in another part of the city, does not drive and has ‘no idea how to cope by herself’.

She said: “The school bus was brilliant, Archie requires consistency because of his disability and the minibus driver was really good with him.

“When I told Archie that the school bus would no longer be coming he went into a meltdown, he thinks he has done something wrong.”

Francesca, who asked for the family’s full details not be disclosed, said: “As soon as I found out the help was getting taken away I contacted the transport department at Edinburgh Council but to be honest they have been really unhelpful.

“They did offer me a daily budget of £4 so I could take Archie on the bus to school, but this solution just made no sense.

“I said that this solution would not work and their reaction was just like ‘well we have offered you something so you can’t complain anymore’.

“Apparently this is a life lesson for our children as they grow that transport is not reality."

Local Councillor Scott Arthur said: “In the past few days I have been contacted by a number of parents with children at Braidburn School in my ward who have had their home-to-school transport support removed or fear it will be.

“Apparently this is a life lesson for our children as they grow that transport is not reality."

Councillor Ian Perry, convener for education, children and families, said: “Any families who feel their travel needs should be provided by the council can appeal and I can assure them all their personal circumstances will be fully taken into account before any decision is reached.”