Rory Stewart MP is in discussions with Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, about the “intolerable” situation regarding school transport for 16-18 year olds in Cumbria. The MP in discussions raised the importance and uniqueness of Cumbrian needs, and pressed her to make sure that Cumbria’s needs would be considered in the next comprehensive spending review. The MP has also been lobbying Minister Edward Timpson directly, and is pressing for assurances from the DfE that it will take seriously the cases of many disadvantaged families in communities across Cumbria, who have faced annual transport bills of a minimum of £360 as a result of the Cumbria County Council Lib Dem-Labour coalition measures, leaving households poorer, and children across the county forced to take sometimes irregular and unsafe modes of transport, placing them in a vulnerable position.

Rory Stewart said: “This is an intolerable situation. I am pressing the Secretary of State to make allowances for Cumbria’s very unique rural needs, which mean that school transport is neither cheap nor regular, and this policy is placing an immense burden on families. I have made recommendations directly to the SoS to assess Cumbria’s status and recognise its needs in the comprehensive spending review. We need to look at measures to mitigate the impact of this ill thought out policy.”

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