Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Thomas Byrne TD has questioned the Government’s commitment to dealing with problems relating to the School Transport Scheme.

Deputy Byrne pointed out that opposition parties are still awaiting the establishment of a cross party forum to deal with school transport issues. This is despite Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan previously stating that such a forum would be up and running over the summer period.

“Fianna Fáil has been raising serious concerns with the current criteria for the School Transport Scheme for some time now. Elected representatives right across the country are inundated with queries from concerned parents who are worried that they may be left without a school transport service from September,” said Deputy Byrne.

“Minister Halligan made a clear commitment to establish a cross party forum to examine this issue and to produce detailed proposals. Although we are not certain what the purpose of the group is, and we know that the matter is within the Minister’s remit, Fianna Fáil is nonetheless willing to be constructive.

“Time is not on our side as this is an ongoing issue which will become a major problem if not addressed by September. The cross party forum was meant to be up and running by now but this hasn’t happened. We remain in the dark as to the exact timeline for the forum.

“I wrote to Minister Halligan two weeks ago to ask him to outline the timeline for this cross party forum but the details remain elusive. It’s time for him to get to work and ensure this forum is up and running without any further delay. Fianna Fáil wants to be proactive in addressing the serious issues with the School Transport Scheme, but Minister Halligan needs to play his part.”