Northampton

Review of special needs transport charges in Northants

Charges for post-16 school transport for youngsters with special educational needs in Northants have been deferred after complaints from parents.

Northamptonshire County Council currently provides young people with free transport to schools.

It announced plans to charge up to 50% of the cost of transport, although some parents on low incomes would still pay nothing.

The move has now been deferred to January for a review.

Debbie Samuels, whose 16-year-old girl Ellie has learning difficulties, said she believed the charges were unfair.

'No school closer'

Ms Samuels had been sent a transport bill for £3,267 from the council with a first instalment of £1,256 to be be paid by 16 August.

"Ellie is going to the school that the council recommended and there is no suitable school closer," she said.

Councillor Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for transport, said: "The strength of feeling to the proposed changes has been listened to and we have decided to extend the period of consultation..."

Ms Smith pointed out with the new system that the council would still pay half of the costs of transporting youngsters with special needs.

She said that parents on a low income would get further help with the travel costs.

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