The school transport service continues to be ‘a nightmare’ in Louth as students face into the second week of school, according to Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú.
The Dundalk TD said the situation, particularly in parts of Louth like Annagassan, remains ‘hugely stressful’ for parents who are now faced with finding alternative transport for their teenagers.
He said: ‘It’s the start of another school year and we are faced with the same nightmare as we have every year in relation to school transport. There has been an update from Bus Eireann which says those who have not got tickets will most likely not get them now.
‘We will continue to push the Minister for Education Norma Foley on the issue, particularly in Louth, where there are significant problems, but it is imperative that she appears before the Oireachtas Education Committee as soon as possible’.
The Sinn Féin TD said his office has been dealing with parents who are now having to drive up to an extra 80kms a week to get their children to and from school, making ‘no sense from an environmental point of view’.
He said: ‘That’s not to mention the incredible pressure on working parents trying to get understanding from their employers about the situation they’re in with school transport.
‘The situation in Annagassan at the moment is there are about 14 students without tickets and this does not seem likely to change in the near future. I would ask anyone who received a ticket for their child but does not need it to contact Bus Eireann as soon as possible so that even one or two seats can be freed up.
‘A review into school transport needs to report quickly so that families are not dealing with this stress again next year. The government decision to waive the fee ended up making the situation, for some, a lot worse.
‘It cannot be beyond the capabilities of State agencies to ensure that school transport is available for each family who needs it.