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Disabled hit by new £2.5m cuts planned for Hampshire school transport



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DROPPING off children with special needs or disabilities up to a mile from their home is being considered by Hampshire County Council as it looks to cut £2.5m from its school transport scheme.

The council currently spends £34m per year transporting approximately 12,000 students.

Children attending mainstream schools are collected and dropped off in groups at main points but around 3,000 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are driven to and from their homes.

The council is looking to save £2.5m by changing the school transport service
The council is looking to save £2.5m by changing the school transport service

The council is proposing to increase the number of SEND children who are collected and returned to a “shared designated safe place” up to a mile from their home.

It is also proposing to increase the number of journeys serving multiple schools and age groups.

Transport would be arranged based on the origin and destination of a number of children, meaning a single vehicle would pick up children who live in one area but travelling to multiple schools and colleges.

Launching a consultation into the changes, HCC’s cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Roz Chadd, said: “This is an opportunity for people to tell us what they think about the proposed changes.

“We would welcome feedback especially from children and young people who travel to school or college using this service, their parents and the schools and colleges.

“Gathering people’s thoughts and opinions is important and will help to inform any final decision that is made.”

The eight-week online consultation ends on 27th March.

An information pack and questionnaire will be available from 31st January at www.hants.gov.uk/consultations



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