Increased resources needed for school transport this year - Senator Fiona O’Loughlin
18 August 2022
Newbridge based Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has said called for an increase in the school transport provision in South Kildare as demand rises.
Senator O’Loughlin said, “The announcement of free school transport by the Minister for Education was a good move in my view. It is a prudent cost of living measure, with a family with more than one child using post-primary school transport benefitting by €500.
“There is no doubt that this has created additional demand on the current provision, with many families who perhaps qualified in prior years but chose not to avail of it or could not afford to avail of it doing so this year, and they are perfectly right and entitled to do so.
“However, I have been inundated with pleas from stressed and worried parents throughout South Kildare whose children have had concessionary tickets for a number of years but can no longer be facilitated due to the increased demand in the area. A concessionary ticket is where a child does not necessarily meet the criteria of the scheme but is offered a seat when there is spare capacity on their desired service.
“I completely accept that priority must be given to those who meet the criteria, but I have spoken to parents who have had 2 or 3 kids availing of concessionary tickets for 5 or even 6 years that have suddenly been told that they have no seat come September. It is leaving families in precarious circumstances.''
Fiona concluded by saying “I have made a number of representations to Bus Eireann asking that local children be facilitated, however, unless resources are increased, and bus provision is increased I fear this may be in vain. I have written to the Minister and will be raising this issue with my Government colleagues.”