Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Robert Troy TD has warned that school transport services could be impacted as a result of the ongoing industrial action at Bus Éireann.

Deputy Troy made the comments after a number of private operators under the School Transport Scheme received correspondence from Bus Éireann to say that payments due this Friday will not be made.

Deputy Troy said, “We’ve now had five days of industrial action at Bus Éireann and there is still no end in sight for this dispute. Thousands of people right across Ireland have been left without their local bus services and have been unable to attend hospital appointments, travel to college or meet with their family and friends. The dispute is having a detrimental impact on small businesses due to lost income as people are unable to access towns and villages.

“Alarmingly, I have been contacted by a number of private operators under the School Transport Scheme who have highlighted that they have received correspondence from Bus Éireann to say that payments due on Friday will not be processed. These operators have warned that they are considering withdrawing from the School Transport Scheme from next Monday.

“Approximately 115,000 children rely on the School Transport Scheme. Their parents are growing increasingly concerned that the industrial action at Bus Éireann will impact on school transport services. Meanwhile Minister for Transport Shane Ross has remained silent as has the Minister for Education Richard Bruton.

“It’s time for the Government to get to grips with this crisis. It’s possible that the current dispute could extend to Dublin Bus and Irish Rail within a matter of days. Despite this the Government has failed to put in place any contingency plan to assist people impacted by the industrial action. Ignoring the problem won’t make it disappear,” said Deputy Troy.