Thursday, 30 May 2013

Questions (86)

Michael McCarthy


86. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding a school transport issue (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26394/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

One of the main objectives of my Department's School Transport Scheme is to provide a basic level of service for children who live long distances from school, and who might otherwise experience difficulty in attending regularly. Children are eligible for Post Primary School Transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kms from, and are attending, their nearest education centre as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Bus Éireann which operates the School Transport Scheme on behalf of my Department is responsible for the planning and timetabling of school transport routes. Bus Éireann endeavours, within available resources, to ensure that each eligible child has a reasonable level of school transport service in the context of the Scheme nationally. In general, transport services are not established in areas where public scheduled bus services already exist. Eligible pupils in such cases are facilitated with travel permits for public scheduled services. Bus Éireann has advised that the families in question, who have been availing of school transport, have a service within guidelines and it not proposed to alter the current arrangement. New families who have applied for school transport will be assessed by Bus Éireann for eligibility in line with the terms of the Post Primary School Transport Scheme.