Mum: Walk to school 'is not safe' for twins in Redruth
TWO teenagers, one with special needs, have not been to school since the first week of term because of transport difficulties.
Twins Jamie and Zoey Cresswell, 14, live beside the New Portreath Road, 1.37 miles from Redruth School but there is no bus service and the road is "too dangerous" to walk.
The family moved to Cornwall from the Midlands at the end of the summer, when their father Stephen got a job as a community nurse in St Austell.
Their mum Kay said: "We were delighted to get places for Jamie and Zoey at Redruth School, but apart from the first week, when a friend gave them a lift, we've not been able to get them there.
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"Stephen sets off for work in the car at 7.30am and gets back a long time after school finishes."
Jamie, who has dyslexia, dispraxia and is epileptic, is statemented and went to a special school in the Midlands.
The Cresswells applied to Cornwall Council for help, but were told he did not have a statutory entitlement to transport because the family home was not far enough from the school and the road had not been designated a "dangerous route".
Mrs Cresswell said she would rather face prosecution for not sending her children to school than see them trying to walk. "It's not safe. There are no pavements, there's nowhere to shelter when cars come and the traffic is too fast.
"The council say there is a bus from Bridge, but the stop is just as far away in the other direction.
"Jamie has trouble with his balance, he walks in a jerky way."
The Cresswells said when they decided to move to the house they assumed buses ran close by, because of its proximity to Treasure Park. Mrs Cresswell added: "Jamie and Zoey are in Year 10 and it's a very important time for them. They should be at school. They are falling further and further behind. I'm devastated. I'm so stressed by it all."
A spokesman for Cornwall Council refused to comment on a specific case, but said: "Free transport to school is generally only available to secondary school pupils up to 16 years old in full-time education, who do not live within three miles of their designated school.
"Free transport for students with special educational needs is considered on a case by case basis and usually provided if the student could not be reasonably expected to walk to school."
The Cresswells have been granted a hearing by Cornwall Council next month.
If you can offer the twins a lift to school, ring Mrs Cresswell on 07706 407756.