The cuts to a home drop-off bus service for disabled children in Hillingdon will be going ahead despite the emotional plea of parents affected by the changes.
Hillingdon Council confirmed on Wednesday (January 25) it would be pushing on with changes to the disability transport service for some children, aimed to reduce costs and reduce the number of vehicles on the roads.
The first school to undergo the changes on February 20 will be Meadow High School in Royal Lane, which provides education for secondary school aged pupils with complex learning difficulties.
Hillingdon Council said other special schools in the borough are being assessed and the reduced services will be introduced on a case-by-case basis.
Council U-turns for one school
However, the authority has gone back on its plans to implement the service at Grangewood School in Eastcote "at this stage".
A spokesman for Hillingdon Council said: “Hillingdon Council is planning to implement changes to the disability transport service for some children.
“The current disability transport service involves costly individual home collections for each child, so we will be reorganising this service by replacing home collections with group pick-up points for some pupils.
“This will reduce the number of vehicles on the road and ensure that there are fewer vehicles arriving at schools.”
Group collection points
Hillingdon Council currently offer home-to-school transport for children with disabilities, but changes would mean children would instead meet at a group collection point.
In December last year, West Drayton couple Nick and Cathy Boore feared they would have to take their daughter with Down's syndrome out of school because of the changes.
Their six-year-old daughter uses the council-provided bus service to get to Grangewood School, around eight miles away.
Grangewood is a primary school for children with severe learning difficulties and physical and complex needs.
But Hillingdon Council announced on Wednesday that it would not be going ahead with the changes for Grangewood.
'Not enough children eligible'
The authority said: “We will not be implementing changes to the disability transport service scheme at Grangewood School at this stage.
“A full assessment of the needs of the children at Grangewood School concluded that there were not enough children eligible for group pick-up points.”
Hillingdon Council said it is still in the process of assessing Hegdewood School in Hayes, Pield Heath House School in Uxbridge, Pentland Field School in Ickenham and Hillingdon Manor School.
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