Lawyers Help Second Disabled Adult Overturn Salford Council Transport Decision

Legal Challenge Regarding Local Authority’s Cuts To Services


Specialist public lawyers representing disabled adults left unable to access vital support as a result of Salford City Council’s decision to withdraw vital transport services have urged the local authority to rethink its decision after securing support for a second client.

Following last week’s announcement that Salford City Council would provide transport for a severely disabled 24-year-old woman represented by Irwin Mitchell’s Public Law team, the lawyers have successfully challenged a similar decision on behalf of another disabled adult who had been unable to attend day centre services for three months after the Passenger Transport Unit (PTU) was withdrawn.

The legal experts called on Salford City Council to review the decision in order to avoid the need for a judicial review and, hours from the deadline, the local authority confirmed that it would provide Jennifer with transport and complete a new assessment of her needs under the Care Act 2014.

Following the decision, Irwin Mitchell’s Public Law team has reiterated calls for the council to now reconsider its position in relation to the law firm’s other clients affected by this issue.

Expert Opinion
“We are pleased that Salford City Council has now recognised that it must provide transport for Jennifer to and from her day centre following the withdrawal of the PTU.

“The impact that the withdrawal of the transport service has had on our clients cannot be overstated. Many are missing out on day centre support which they are entitled to as a result of this issue, with this meaning they are isolated from the local community and not gaining the specialist care they need.

“We were able to reach this latest agreement with Salford City Council without starting court proceedings and hope that the local authority will now quickly reconsider its position in relation to the other disabled adults we act for. How many times must there be a legal challenge before they finally realise the negative impact this policy has had?"
Mathieu Culverhouse, Associate

The latest client that Irwin Mitchell has helped to overturn the council’s decision is Jennifer Barrett, 42, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is unable to speak or walk. She also requires assistance with all aspects of personal care.

Her access to the PTU was withdrawn in April 2015 and, with no alternative means of transport, she has been unable to attend the day centre she has visited for four days a week over the past 22 years.

Elaine Barrett, said: “Jennifer thoroughly enjoyed her time at her day centre and always came home happy and contented. She was able to participate in fun and stimulating activities, as well as access physiotherapy which is essential for her physical health.

“She really suffers when she is unable to go to the centre. She experiences a lack of stimulation, social isolation and a loss of structure and purpose to her life. It also has a damaging effect on my ability to ensure I can meet all of her care needs too.

“While I am disappointed that the council has left Jennifer unable to attend her day centre for three months, it is such a relief that transport is now being provided. She will now be able to have her needs met and I can receive the respite I need as her carer. I hope that any other families affected by the closure of the PTU consider seeking legal advice to get their transport reinstated.”