Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says families across Cavan and Monaghan have been let down by the Government after it was announced that no changes will be made to the School Transport Scheme.
“This is an issue that comes up every single year and each summer I am contacted by worried parents who are anxious that their children will not get a place on the scheme. Concessionary students are most at risk and they will not be comforted by the outcome of a review into the scheme, which was released this week”, explained Deputy Smith.
“I know of cases of students who are due to sit their State Exams losing their concessionary passes and being faced with a choice of finding another way to get to school, or move school. This type of pressure on pupils and their parents is deeply disturbing.
“The Minister with responsibility for the School Transport Scheme, John Halligan, promised that students who hold a concessionary school bus ticket would not lose their bus pass pending the outcome of a value for money review. Despite his commitments, the review has been completed, and no changes are being proposed.
“The net result of this fudge is that more children will lose their bus pass and the overall number of places in the scheme will be cut. The system isn’t working, and is causing serious anxiety for students and their parents.
“My office has received a considerable number of requests from families for help with their school transport difficulties. Their concerns will not be alleviated unless Minister Halligan comes back to the table, listens to their concerns, and ensures a fair and equitable system for everyone,” concluded Deputy Smith.