Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers has expressed her concern over the number of families in the Louisburgh area left without school transport for their children.
“Parents rely heavily on the school transport system in this country, particularly in rural areas and the system in place is not compatible with the demand that is out there,” she said.
“In June of this year Minister for State John Halligan promised that students who hold concessionary school bus tickets would not lose their place on school buses pending the outcome of a value for money review being conducted by his department.”, she said.
“Minister Halligan also promised that a cross party committee to discuss the issues facing school transport in this country would be set up and the committee would meet over the months of July and August, but this did not happen,” Deputy Chambers went on.
“And now families, not only in Mayo but right across the board are being left without school transport, an issue Mr Halligan and his Department were well aware could possibly arise,” she continued.
“One family I spoke with told me how they previously had access to the school transport scheme for their children in the past but that this year, even after the purchasing of tickets, were rejected from the bus with only a mere 5 days to go before the school year was set to commence,” she stated.
“Leaving parents of young children with 5 days to organise transport to school is unacceptable and something needs to be done to address this issue immediately,” she said.
“Despite Minister Halligan giving a guarantee that no child would lose their seat due to the review the Department is supposedly carrying out on the School Transport Scheme , numerous children right across the country still lost their seats!” she said
“And it’s the parents that are the ones left to deal with the stress of trying to organise last minute transport for their children as if they don’t have enough on their plate as it is,” she concluded.