Skip to main content
Normal View

Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 17 May 1989

Vol. 390 No. 2

Ceisteanna-Questions. Oral Answers. - School Transport Service.


asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to the public statements made by union leaders and others within Bus Éireann that it will be impossible to provide a school transport service next term within the resources allocated.


asked the Minister for Education whether, in the course of any discussions she has had with Bus Éireann authorities the level of redundancies which can be expected as Bus Éireann seek to provide a transport service for schools next term within the resources allocated, has been indicated to her.


asked the Minister for Education if it is her intention to make any improvements in the manner of the provision of school transport during the course of the next school term.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 12, 23 and 30 together.

The position is that the school transport service will be maintained at its present level throughout 1989.

Is the Minister saying that the service will be maintained within the allocation provided in the Book of Estimates? Does he exclude the possibility of a Supplementary Estimate in order that the service be maintained at its present level? Is he saying it will be maintained within the present allocation?

The transport service will be maintained at its present level — nothing more, nothing less.

Has the Minister of State had any consultations with the main contractor for the service which would assure him that the sums are adequate for the continued operation of the service?

There are always ongoing consultations between CIE and my Department. That is normal procedure and those consultations will continue.

Is it not a fact that the main contractor has told the Minister, the Minister of State and the Department, that a service cannot be adequately operated to the end of the year within the existing allocation?

Yes. It is a fact that CIE have told us that they would have major difficulty with the provision of the service within the allocation provided. They have told us that on many occasions in the past. It is the subject of ongoing discussions.

Can the Minister confirm that he has been told by CIE that attempting to live within the existing allocation would involve very substantial redundancies? What was his reaction and that of his Department?

The Department have been informed by CIE that redundancies may well be involved. I think the Deputy had a copy of a letter to that effect on one occasion. This is not the first time we have been told this by CIE. It is our wish that redundancies would not take place as a result of the Government's indication to CIE that a school transport service must be provided.

Is it not a fact that notices have already been issued to school bus drivers that they are to cease operations almost forthwith because no further funding is available to them? This is happening in rural areas where there is no other means of transport available to children. I have evidence of it. I thought it a rather mean and petty way of doing things.

The Deputy has made it his point.

If notice was to be given it should have been done through the schools.

Please, Deputy Boylan.

That is not true. Would the Deputy give us documentation on it?

Tell us who they are.

I have written to the Minister.

The Deputy will not get away with that. It is not true.

I have written to the Minister and given the names of the schools.