Nikita Jade Disability Fund

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Nikita hit by transport blunder

Posted on October 6, 2005 at 4:45 AM

06 October 2005

THE parents of a youngster with cerebral palsy have been taking their daughter to school because the county council cannot provide transport.


Three-year-old Nikita Ray of Grafton Road, Rushden, was promised transport to and from Rowan Gate School in Wellingborough if her parents Trudie and Malcolm found a wheelchair suitable for vehicles provided by Northamptonshire County Council.


Despite getting the wheelchair, the youngster, who was born with cerebral palsy and microcephaly which means her head is too small and her brain develops at a slower rate than normal, has not yet been taken to school by the council since starting on September 21.


Nikita is being taken home in a bus equipped to take wheelchair-users but none of the taxis sent by the county council to pick her up in the morning can transport her safely and legally.


Mrs Ray, 41, said: "They bring her home from school on the bus but they haven't been able to arrange transport in the morning.


"We have been raising money to buy other equipment for Nikita so the county council don't have to, and then they can't sort this for her."


Suggestions by Mr and Mrs Ray for Nikita to be taken to school on buses with seats for wheelchair-users have also been disregarded because the county council is not keen on changing the current bus routes.


Mr Ray, 52, said: "We have had excuse after excuse. But we need to get something in place that is permanent – Nikita needs to have a routine.


"It would be a travesty if the council was not going to continue providing transport for Nikita and other children with disabilities."


Cllr Bob Seery, member for transport and highways, said: "Since we were made aware of Nikita's requirement for transport we have been working to ensure that a suitable vehicle is made available for her journey as


soon as possible.


"We are now finalising those arrangements which should shortly be in place.


"It is acknowledged that this has inconvenienced the family and details of how they may claim for any mileage expenses they have incurred for the journey during this time will be provided."

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