Green Light For Judicial Review Into Salford Transport Cuts

Hearing On Decision To End Services Expected In October


Lawyers representing two disabled adults in a legal battle to prevent vital council-run transport services from being cut in Salford have revealed their determination to ensure they can access the support they require, after a judge granted permission for a judicial review to be held into the matter.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Public Law team was contacted for help after Salford City Council announced in July it was withdrawing a wheelchair-adapted bus service used its clients to attend day centres in Salford.

After applying for a judicial review into the decision on several grounds, Irwin Mitchell was also able to ensure that an interim transport service would remain in place while the application was considered.

Now, a judge at the High Court in Manchester has today (September 10th) confirmed that the application for a judicial review has been granted permission to proceed, with a hearing expected to take place in October.

Expert Opinion
The confirmation that a judicial review will be held is a welcome step forward on this issue, with the proposed cuts to transport services set to leave our clients and a huge number of other people with no suitable means to access the care and support they need.

"We have numerous concerns regarding the decision, from whether proper assessments were carried out into people’s needs and if a lawful consultation was undertaken, so we are determined to ensure that our client’s voice is heard on this matter.

"It is vital that this important decision which will impact on a great number of people’s lives is given the care and attention it deserves, and we are determined to ensure that our clients can continue to benefit from the services they require."
Mathieu Culverhouse, Associate

Irwin Mitchell is acting for Michael Robson, from Swinton, who requires around-the-clock care due to cerebral palsy and epilepsy and attends day centres in Stockport and Salford for his support needs. He uses the service to attend the St George’s Day Centre in Salford two days a week.

The lawyers are also acting for Jennifer Barrett, 41, from Salford, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. She uses the transport service to attend the Waterside Resource Centre in Salford four days a week.

Irwin Mitchell is challenging the decision on the transport cuts on several grounds:

  • The legal team believe the council has failed to carry out the necessary assessments of people’s care needs and how they can be met, as families have stated they not asked if they would be able to provide alternative travel for their loved ones.
  • The lawyers believe Salford City Council has failed to put forward sufficient reasons for the decision to ensure the plans were properly considered, with its website not making it clear that the transport service would be ending.
  • The legal team believe the council has failed to meet its responsibilities under the terms of section 149 of the Equality Act. Among the concerns is that the council failed to gather information needed to assess the potential impact of this decision of disabled people.