VIDEO: Carer couple's holiday dream dashed as Council say 'no' to school bus help (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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School bus blow for epileptic girl as Bradford Council dashes carers’ holiday dream
A Bradford couple’s hopes for a much-needed sunshine break could be dashed after school transport bosses refused to go the extra mile to help out.
John and Clare Pollard, who care for their 18-year-old grandaughter Sophie, who is epileptic and has learning disabilities, had asked Bradford Council’s Passenger Transport Service to pick her up from her aunt’s house only one mile away from their home while they were away in Benidorm later this month.
But despite getting an original ‘yes’, they were told the very next day that it would not be happening, they say.
Mr Pollard, 65, said: “They’ve done it before if we’ve been away from home and Sophie’s been staying at her aunt’s.
“In fact, they’ve done it three or four times before and it’s all gone smoothly, but they’ve said they can’t do it this time because of the cost cuts.
“It’s not as if we’re asking them to go miles out of their usual way; it’s only about one mile but they are refusing to help. It’s left us in a predicament. We’ve paid for the holiday and don’t want to lose our money.”
Sophie is a student at Hazelbeck Community School, which is based at Beckfoot School in Bingley, and gets picked up and dropped off by the bus service from her home in Old Park Road, Thorpe Edge, five times a week.
Mr Pollard said: “Without the bus service we are stuck.
“Sophie’s aunt can’t come and stay here because she lives within walking distance to her work.
“She’s being kind enough giving us a break and caring for Sophie. We can’t ask her to move out of her own home to do it – that would not be fair.”
He added: “Schools tell us not to take children out for holidays during term-time so we do as we are told and then this happens.
“The school has been sympathetic to us and has tried to get the transport service to change its mind again, but they won’t be moved. We don’t know what to do.”
A Bradford Council spokesman said: “Parents or guardians have a responsibility to get their children to school. We can provide transport to assist with this where possible.
“We would normally only provide transport to and from the child’s home. We don’t usually make arrangements for another address unless it is down the same street or just around the corner.
“This is the same for everyone and, as with all Council departments, we have to keep the cost of this service under control.”
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