Seanad debates

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

School Transport

2:30 pm

Photo of Tim LombardTim Lombard (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

It is unprecedented that five Senators are speaking about the same Commencement matter. I have never seen it before in my time in the Oireachtas. Realistically, I have 172 or 173 kids on to me from west Cork at the moment. The majority of them had school tickets last year but because of the change in the scheme, they have been effectively thrown off the bus. These are working families who are trying to live their daily lives and their routine has been taken away from them. To compound that, I have spoken to a parent whose child is availing of the school bus scheme this year for the first time. She is caught for the Wednesday afternoon collection, so the child uses the bus service once a week. This means that on the other nine journeys, the seats are empty. The system is broken. We need to put a budget in place to make sure we can cater for all kids and not leave thousands of children at the crossroads without school transportation. We need a new system in place because it is chaos at the moment.


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