Axed bus service a big blow for family
Girl with Down’s syndrome may have to move school
A WEST Drayton family are worried their sixyear-old daughter with Down’s syndrome may have to move schools after Hillingdon Council announced it would no longer be providing a bus pick up service.
Nick and Cathy Boore received a letter from the council around two weeks ago, announcing their daughter will not be picked up or dropped off to her home by bus, as it aims to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads.
Instead the couple will have to take their daughter to a prearranged pick up point, which has yet to be announced, and they said it is the uncertainty that is fuelling their concerns.
Mr Boore, 43, told the Gazette: “We don’t know how it’s going to affect us.
“They just seem to be cutting children’s services all over the place.
“They seem to be cutting it to the most vulnerable people.
“The last thing we want to do is take her out of the school, but it might come to that.”
Their daughter currently uses the Hillingdon Councilprovided bus service to get to Grangewood Special School, around eight miles away in Eastcote.
Grangewood is a primary school for children with severe learning difficulties and physical and complex needs, but because of budget cuts by the council, group pick-up points will be introduced after the spring half-term on February 20 next year.
Hillingdon Council said the new scheme is being introduced to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads and the number of vehicles arriving at the school.
However, Mr Boore fears for the impact the changes will have on his family, especially as the couple have four children, including a six month old baby.
He said: “We’ve got other children as well to sort out.
“We’re Drayton, points] anywhere.
“We’ve no idea what that could be. It could be the end of the road, or the other end of West Drayton.” in West [the pick-up could be
Mr Boore added: “[Our daughter has] only been walking for the last 12 months.
“Walking is a concern for us because we don’t know where the pick up point will be.
“[The bus service] should stay as it is. It’s been working really well.
“Our daughter’s been at the school for just over a year and she’s really come into her own.
“She’s getting a bit of independence.”
Mr and Mrs Boore
Our daughter’s been at the school for just over a year and she’s really come into her own”
have now written to Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell in the hope he will champion their cause.
In their letter to Mr McDonnell, the couple say that there was no consultation on the changes and that the issue is leaving many parents ‘angry, upset, worried and distressed’.
It is unclear which schools in the borough are being impacted by these bus service changes.
A statement from Hillingdon Council said: “The current disability transport service involves costly individual home collections for each child.
“We will be replacing this service with group pick-up points for some pupils, so parents or carers will accompany their children to their nearest collection point in the morning and meet them again in the afternoon.
“All pick-up points will be within a mile of the child’s home, with many being considerably less than a mile. We are currently evaluating the needs of each child on a case-by-case basis and not all pupils and schools will be affected. Parents will be notified of any changes to their child’s school transport at the beginning of January, and we plan to launch a phased implementation of the new service from February 20 2017.”