Disabled Blackpool girl must 'give up morning transport or switch schools'

A six-year-old disabled girl must give up her council-provided transport – or switch schools.

Saturday, 30th November 2019, 11:45 am
Scarlett Ray with her mum Laura
Scarlett Ray with her mum Laura

Scarlett Ray, who has developmental delays, took a special minibus provided by Lancashire County Council from her St Annes home to Red Marsh School with her friends five days a week.

But when she and her parents moved to Endsleigh Gardens in South Shore last month, mum Laura Brady, 24, was told by Blackpool Council that the bus service would no longer stop at their house.

Now she is faced with the difficult decision of giving up her daughter’s morning transport or moving her to a local school.

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She said: “They want to put her in a special school in Blackpool, which I have declined because she has been at Red Marsh for three years. She’s happy there, she’s got friends there and she doesn’t like change.

“Me taking her to school is not a problem and I’m happy to do it, but to refuse to take her on the bus is going to upset her. She won’t understand why she’s not allowed to take the bus with her friends.

“I feel very upset. It’s like all they care about is money. If they had a disabled child they would know how it feels.

“Every morning the bus rolls up she has the happiest smile on her face and I can’t take that away from her.”

Scarlett's morning transport is currently provided by Lancashire County Council, and will be funded by Blackpool Council until December, when the service will come to an end.

A council spokesman said that Blackpool currently does not have any school buses that attend Red Marsh School, on Holly Road, Thornton.

They said: “As a goodwill gesture we agreed to continue to fund Scarlett’s transport to a school outside the borough until the end of this term. We will discuss the options available for the new school term with Scarlett’s family and they will, of course, have a right of appeal if they are unhappy with the decision.”