Salford Council’s Transport U-Turn ‘A Step Forward But Further Action Needed’

Lawyers Acting For Disabled Adults Affected By Cuts Welcome Latest Developments


Specialist lawyers representing a severely disabled woman left unable to access vital day centre support as a result of Salford City Council’s cuts to transport services have welcomed the council’s decision to “see sense” and back-track on the decision to not provide support for her.

Legal experts in Irwin Mitchell’s Public Law team represent several disabled people who can no longer access the care they require as a result of the council’s decision to withdraw its Passenger Transport Unit (PTU) in April. They say that although the latest decision to ‘back down’ is welcome, there are still too many others affected who need help.

The lawyers last month applied for permission for a judicial review of the decision to remove support for one of their clients, arguing the step was unlawful due to the council’s failure to undertake a proper assessment of her transport needs under the Care Act 2014.

Now, the experts have been asked to withdraw the application after the council confirmed that it would provide the client with transport to and from the day centre she attends.

Expert Opinion
“It is a great shame that the families of seriously disabled adults have had to resort to legal action to secure the transport services that they are rightfully entitled to.

“We are pleased that in this case Salford City Council has seen sense and agreed to provide transport to our client following its decision to close its PTU, which used to provide this essential service.

“We are currently acting for a number of other families who are in a similar position and, following developments in this case, we are urging the Council to reconsider its position in those cases to avoid the need for further legal action.

“Any other families who remain without transport following the closure of the PTU should also consider seeking legal advice to secure the transport they are entitled to.”
Mathieu Culverhouse, Associate

The client is a 24 year old woman who is severely disabled with cerebral palsy, diabetes insipidus, septo optic dysplasia and epilepsy. She also requires wheelchair support when out in the community and is registered blind.

She attended Alexandra House day centre three times a week with support from the PTU service, but following its withdrawal she was advised she would need to take a taxi to and from the centre – despite her mother raising concerns regarding the cost and logistics of such a change.

The client’s mother said: “The changes suggested for transport were simply not suitable and have meant she has faced great difficulty in getting access to day centre support which she requires.

“We are so happy that the council has ensured common sense has prevailed and hope that similar steps can be taken for the many others in the same boat as us. The withdrawal of the PTU has had a massive impact on very vulnerable people and something must change.”