RENFREWSHIRE Council has defended its decision to refuse a schoolboy taxi transport after coming under fire in the Scottish Parliament. 

Cameron Barclay, 17, a sixth year pupil, has been forced to cycle for 45 minutes between classes at Paisley Grammar School, St Andrew's Academy, and Johnstone High School because no school offers all three of the subjects he has chosen: physics, chemistry and graphic design. 

It means Cameron has missed out on lunch breaks and large parts of lessons. 

Renfrewshire Council already offer a taxi service to a number of pupils across the local authority and a Freedom Of Information Request has revealed the council are spending £3,000 a week on taxi services for pupils, but Cameron’s request for help continues to be refused.

The teenager's case was brought up by MSP Maurice Golden who raised the issue at First Minister's Questions. 

Speaking after the debate, Mr Golden said it is "beggars belief" that the council refused to provide a taxi. 

The Gazette:

West of Scotland MSP Maurice Golden raised the issue in parliament 

He added: “The case of Cameron Barclay and the impact this travelling is having on his studies is clear for all to see, yet Renfrewshire Council won’t budge.

“This lack of support despite taxi services being offered to other pupils in Renfrewshire is exactly why I raised this unfairness with the First Minister.

“With the winter weather upon us, it is dangerous for Cameron to be cycling long distances and when Renfrewshire Council are spending thousands of pounds on taxi services, I would hope that Cameron’s case can reach a positive outcome.”

Speaking at the debate in parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Some schools in different clusters will provide different qualifications and young people will go to different schools to access them. The principle here is that we want to ensure that young people get access to as broad a range of qualifications as it is possible to do.”

A spokesman for Renfrewshire Council said: “In this case, the pupil is studying three advanced highers and travels to a partner school one mile away and to another seven miles away, which is easily accessible by public transport and with at least one hour and thirty minutes between classes.

“The travel involved and transport arrangements were outlined to the pupil and parents at the time the subjects were chosen.”