'˜It's a shambles'; parents voice anger at Northants school transport system after taxis fail to show up

Frustration is growing among parents of several children with disabilities in Northampton as an IT switchover continues to disrupt a school taxi service this week.

Friday, 9th September 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 12th September 2016, 4:47 pm
Northamptonshire County Council has come under fire for delays in its transport to school service.

Northamptonshire County Council’s home to school transport system is available to a range of children, including those with severe medical or physical conditions, or under eights those who live further than two miles from their nearest linked school.

But the service has been flooded with complaints this week - after a change of IT systems meant several children were left waiting for a taxi that never showed up, while others showed up late and others reported being taken to the wrong school.

Now on the fifth day of the new term, the problem has still not been fixed, and parents are growing increasingly frustrated.

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Andrew Pounds’ 11-year-old son Harry goes to Greenfield School and Sports College in Goldings - but his transport has not arrived this week.

It means Mr Pounds, who has mobility problems because of a road accident, is now having to drive his four children to three different schools across the town in rush hour.

He said: “Trying to get to all the schools in time, especially with the way some people park outside them, has been horrendous.”

On Tuesday the council said a switchover to a new IT system that allows live GPS tracking of the cars was to blame for the issues.

More than 20 parents have since contacted the Chron to voice their anger.

Jeremy Sykes, said: “My lad is 17 and attends The Beehive. School transport costs us £600 per year.

“During the school holidays we normally get a letter, but we got no letter informing us about what transport he will be travelling to and from school. Monday morning, taxi turns up at our house to pick my son up for school, The school was closed all day.”

Becca Reynolds said: “It was a complete shambles, no one turned up for my daughter and no matter who I contacted, no one knew what was going on.”

It is not known exactly how many children have been affected by the mix up.

Northamptonshire County Council has been contacted for an update.