Alastair Campbell Tony Blair Manchester Alastair Campbell Tony Blair Manchester

Greater Manchester councils spending over £500k a WEEK on taxis for schoolchildren

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Hard-up town halls in Greater Manchester are spending more than half a million pounds every week on taxis to take children to and from school amid fears transport services for pupils are at "breaking point".

Across the region nearly at least 4,600 pupils have taxis to school paid for by their local authorities, who have a legal duty to help children who cannot walk or use public transport to get there, analysis by The Northern Agenda politics newsletter reveals.

The sky-high costs are in part caused by an increase in the number of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who need to go to a specialist school, often outside the local council's boundaries.

Rising fuel prices, wages and inflation are also adding to the cost. Read more: "Very dangerous...": Tony Blair's spin doctor Alastair Campbell on Burnham, Brexit and losing the Red Wall Town hall leaders say free school transport is a "lifeline" for many pupils but that funding pressures, rising demand and costs "are pushing the home-to-school transport scheme to breaking point".

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