Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (358)

Jack Wall

Question:

466 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will investigate the application for school transport for a student (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1597/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Science)

As a rule primary school transport routes are planned so that, as far as possible, no eligible pupil will have more than 1.5 miles to travel to a pick-up point. Pupils living off the main route of service are generally expected to make their own way or be brought to convenient pick-up points along the main route. Home pick-ups were never envisaged as being part of the school transport scheme as the cost involved on a countrywide level would be prohibitive.

The student in question resides 0.5 miles from the route of service. As this is well within range of the existing service, it would not be open to my Department to extend the service as requested. There is provision for parents to pay for extensions of bus services where feasible, having regard to time schedules and avoidance of major disruption to other pupils using the service. Bus Éireann has advised my Department that an extension of the bus service could be implemented under this provision in this case. If the family is interested in meeting the cost of extending the service, it should contact school transport section of my Department in Tullamore.