Mum's worry change of school transport could 'end in a disaster'

Bradley and Lyndsay

Lyndsay Terry and her son Bradley, who suffers from autism and severe anxiety. - Credit: Lyndsay Terry

The mother of a ten-year-old boy who suffers from autism is worried that a change in her son's school transport could "end in a disaster".

31-year-old Lyndsay Terry, who grew up in Stowmarket, now lives in Somersham with her four children, including ten-year-old Bradley who has autism and severe anxiety, and has school transport arranged by Suffolk County Council.

Around a year ago an incident occurred in which Bradley was left near to his home but "far enough away that he couldn’t find his way home".

Bradley

In September Bradley will attend Stow Lodge Academy, a special needs school. - Credit: Lyndsay Terry

This left Ms Terry, who had phoned the taxi company responsible for transport, fearing the worst.

“At that point I ran out the door and found Bradley well down the road.

"I found him in the middle of the road sat down ripping his hair out, biting himself to the point that he was bleeding, screaming they left me." Ms Terry said.

Following the event, Ms Terry was allowed to pick a trusted driver and taxi firm for her son.

Bradley

Lyndsay says that over the past year Bradley has "gone to school every day, he’s loved it" and that his behaviour has also improved. - Credit: Lyndsay Terry

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“For the last year it’s been amazing, Bradley’s gone to school every day, he’s loved it, his behaviour has excelled and it’s because he has that amazing start in the morning." She said. 

However, come September Bradley will be attending Stow Lodge Academy and the contract is soon to be put up for tender, as is required by law. 

The current firm that Bradley uses will be bidding on the contract, however there are no guarantees they will win.

The bidding is blind until the tender is closed and bids are then reviewed by Suffolk County Council. 

Lyndsay is worried that the change may have a huge adverse effect on her son, saying: “He’s not going to cope if they change it, it’s going to a barrier to his learning. He’s not going to want to go to school again. 

“If he was put with a stranger who doesn't know him and his traits and how to keep him happy it could end in a disaster."

Bradley and Lyndsay

Lyndsay says she's worried that a change of driver may "end in disaster." - Credit: Lyndsay Terry

A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council said: “We understand how daunting this is for the family and we do all we can to maintain consistency for the young people who use these services.

"Unfortunately however, despite our best efforts we are constricted by law and sometimes we must offer that contract out to tender if there is a significant change.

"This may mean the provider will change, or the existing provider could win the contract.”