'Stressful' wait following Leicestershire disability bus appeal

  • Published
Kirstine DrexlerImage source, Family handout
Image caption,
Stefan Drexler said he did not feel he had any option other than to take Leicestershire County Council to court

A family is waiting to find out if their appeal against plans to axe a free school bus service for their disabled daughter has been successful.

Leicestershire County Council is to stop providing transport for disabled children aged 16 to 18 from September.

Stefan Drexler has taken the fight to the Court of Appeal after the High Court sided with the council.

Judgement on the appeal, which took place on Thursday and Friday last week, has been deferred until a later date.

The council said it is not able to comment while proceedings are ongoing but "remains committed to supporting families".

It was argued 17-year-old Kirsty Drexler's human right to an education was being violated by the council's new transport policy.

Mr Drexler said: "The fact that we've been granted an appeal hearing shows how important it is.

Image caption,
It's not yet known when the judge will return a verdict on the appeal

"This period of waiting to hear is just so stressful because you just don't know where you are.

"It's massively important for us but also for other families in Leicestershire. Without it a lot of families won't function."

Funding school transport for disabled teenagers aged between 16 and 18 is up to an individual council's discretion.

Currently, a specially-adapted bus takes Kirsty from her home in Markfield to her special needs school 13 miles away.

Media caption,

Kirsty Drexler's family have taken the council to court in hopes of keeping her specialist school transport

Leicestershire County Council has decided to stop providing the service and instead give families money towards funding their own transport.

Mr Drexler said the responsibility of getting Kirsty to school and back will fall on him if their appeal fails.

"I'm worried about my health and if I'm worried about my health I'm worried about my ability to look after Kirsty," he said.

"We're already living a very stressful life - this could break me."

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