Seanad debates

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

School Transport

2:30 pm

Photo of Mark WallMark Wall (Labour) | Oireachtas source

The Minister is very welcome to the House this afternoon. This is one of the biggest issues, if not the biggest issue apart from housing, that I have received representations on in my office over the past couple of weeks. I am sure colleagues are in the same boat. The issue is parents are seeing their children left at the side of the road; that is the bottom line. Whether we like it or not, that is what is happening throughout south Kildare and its bordering counties of Laois and Offaly. I will relay two quick quotations from parents because they reflect what is happening. The first states: "I have been refused bus tickets that we have had over the last number of years, we now are left with no option but to pay €60 per week for taxis , other than that I will have to give up work". The second parent states:

I have been on to the bus provider last week and yesterday again. The bus goes by our gate everyday with 5 - 6 empty seats in the morning. [There are more in the afternoon because some parents go and drive to school to collect their children]. The bus holds 33 kids but the bus operator has not received any numbers or names from bus eireann, so cannot tell me if the bus is actually full or not [because he has not received that information].

This is what is going on. Nobody knows how many spaces are available. Nobody knows what is going on. Why can we not allow people aged over 70 to drive buses? We need solutions.


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