Govt Criticised Over New School Bus Distance Scheme

Fianna Fáil has criticised the government over changes to the school transport scheme, announced by Bus Éireann.

Donegal Deputy Charlie McConalogue claimed that the new scheme will see pupils from the Urris area "forced to relocate from Carndonagh to Buncrana".

"This new system is completely senseless. Not only does it advocate the use of the road through the Mamore Gap, which is extremely treacherous during the winter months, it will see children from Urris forced to relocate from Carndonagh Community School to Buncrana," Deputy McConalogue said.

"This has the potential to lead to a situation where two siblings are attending two separate schools in different locations.

Deputy McConalogue said that there was a "long tradition" of children from the Urris area attending Carndonagh Community School, but with the introduction of the new scheme pupils from the area are being told they now have to attend secondary school in Buncrana.

Deputy McConalogue added: "The Education Minister has washed her hands of this situation by claiming that Bus Eireann is responsible for the planning and timetabling of school transport routes, as it operates the school transport scheme.

"I have been working on this issue with both Councillor Martin McDermott and Councillor Rena Donaghy and I will be raising this issue directly with Minister Jan O'Sullivan on the floor of the Dáil this week. I will be insisting that she pushes Bus Éireann to apply a sensible and safe approach to this situation so that the students of Urris can continue to attend the Carndonagh Community School."


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