Denton Community College student Lucy Devlin had to make her own way to school after she was left by the road by a driver wanting more money for a fixed fare, it is claimed
The parents of an autistic 11-year-old who struggles with changes to her routine have slammed a cabbie who they say left her by the roadside to make her own way to school.
Peter and Leanne Devlin booked the transport for Lucy on days when they were unable to take her themselves.
After explaining her condition and agreeing a fixed price to be paid at the start of each trip, they say they were confident of leaving her in the care of a local firm.
But the couple were horrified when a crying Lucy, who is in the first year of DentonCommunity College, called saying she had been left stranded because the driver wanted more money.
Peter, 46,who has chronic lymphocytic leukaemia which leaves him constantly exhausted, was at home in Denton with younger daughter Maisy while hospital administrator Leanne was working.
He said: “Lucy struggles with crowded spaces so public transport is not an option and we decided to put her in a taxi which picked her up from home and dropped her at the school door. Notes should flag up on their system.
“There’s an agreed fee of £4 which I pay every morning so I don’t understand why there was a meter running.
“She said the driver asked her to get out because her £4 was up and dropped her at the wrong side of a main junction.
“It’s a quarter of a mile from the school and a change in her routine. All I wanted was my daughter to be safe but she was absolutely beside herself and it sent me into orbit because there was nothing I could do.”
Lucy made it to school after following Peter’s directions but he says he won’t trust cabs again. He has complained to Tameside council’s licensing department which confirmed it is investigating.
He added: “For the sake of a few pence extra that I would have happily paid, it makes me angry. I trusted them with my child and I think as a basic they should get her to the destination.”
Peter and Leanne have been booking the cabs through Call-a-Car in Denton and say they have never had problems before.
Owner Amanat Ali said he was waiting to hear from the council and was conducting his own internal investigation.
He said: “We have been dealing with children with special needs for seven years and this is the first time we’ve received a complaint like this. We take it very seriously and need to get to the bottom of what happened so it doesn’t happen again.
“If the driver has forced the child out of his taxi then I am fully behind licensing and any action they take. We do not tolerate or condone that type of behaviour from our drivers.”