Mum and Dad were out the other day with friends and were they were talking about taxis and the time they became taxi drivers, not just like the normal taxi drivers that parents are, but proper; registered taxi drivers!
As you can imagine, in our family it was never going to be straight forward!
I’m going back a bit in time to when I started at secondary school. You may remember it was out of catchment though it was agreed by the LEA that it was the best school for me so that was all fine. The problem was getting me there. I couldn’t get on the school bus, despite the OSO’s best efforts even she couldn’t get me on the bus in my wheelchair. Technically, the LEA should have provided me with a taxi, but because the school was a bit far away they couldn’t get their act together so Mum had to take me and bring me back each day, which was very difficult ‘cause she was working elsewhere and the brothers were still at primary school.
Mum and Dad went to yet another appeal and it was decided that the LEA had a legal duty to provide a taxi to get me to school and back. Result. The problem was then finding one that could safely carry a wheelchair. One turned up as just a van with a lift and with no way of securing my wheelchair so I would have just rolled around all the time, and, as casual as the OSO could be at times, even she decided this was not ideal! So another taxi firm was found, but they proved to be completely useless and very rarely turned up on time to take me to school (which, to be honest, I thought was rather a good idea) but then they often didn’t turn up to take me home (not such a good idea).
By this time, as you may remember from a previous blog, Mum had got a job at the school so she said she would take me. The LEA said
‘No’ that couldn’t happen as she wasn’t a registered taxi driver
The OSO said it was ok she wouldn’t charge the LEA she would just take me because there were no safe or reliable taxi firms available.
They said ’no’ it had to be a registered taxi driver that took me and then they could then pay them! I know it was ridiculous!!!
By now you have got to know a little bit about what the OSO was like.
You guessed it; she became a registered taxi driver! Well she would, wouldn’t she?!
Mum and Dad both decided to become taxi drivers, so they swotted up and took the ‘knowledge test’ and passed, Vera van had to be checked registered and plated. The first thing Dad did was to take Vera and drive her round Sheffield in all the bus and taxi routes which normal drivers weren’t allowed in!
So, in the end the OSO got paid to take me and bring me back from school every day, even though by then she worked there and Roger and Alistair also went to school there, how daft was that!!!???