Cumbria, UK — Recent data reveals that a student taking a cab to and from school costs around £355 a day. And the Cumbria County Council will have to pay that amount for 1,203 children.
Moreover, it shows that some pupils take trips of up to 260 miles every day.
Out of the 1,203 students that use a cab service, 77 are traveling to Kendal and 43 to Coniston. Meanwhile, 45 to Barrow, 173 to Carlisle, 44 to Ulverston. Finally, 35 to Windermere, 126 to Workington and 125 attend to schools outside of Cumbria.
Furthermore, these students are those that belong to mainstream schools, Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools, and pupil referral units.
One Barrow cab driver states that he drives to Windermere every 8am to pick up a student and bring him back to a school in Barrow. The driver also comes back by the end of the school day to bring the student back home.
“Some days I’ve driven up to Windermere and arrived at their house only to be told the kid has refused to go to school that day,” the driver said. “At £50 a journey that does seem like a waste of taxpayers’ cash.”
Moreover, a spokesman for the county council stated: “There are several reasons why some pupils are transported for part or the whole of their journey by taxi. Many children in Cumbria live in remote and rural areas, which are not all accessible by large vehicles or buses. Depending on eligibility and distance criteria, the council may choose to provide a taxi service to transport pupils collectively from hard-to-reach areas to their nearest bus stop(s) where they are collected by their school transport provider.”