Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Questions (76)

Martin Heydon

Question:

76. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a student (details supplied) in County Kildare who was travelling on a school bus to Naas from their home in Kildare until recently can not use this bus now, if this decision may be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42636/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Under the terms of the Post Primary School Transport Scheme, children are eligible for 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 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.

Where practicable, and subject to considerations of cost and logistics, routes are planned to avoid an eligible child having to travel more than 3.2 kms to or from a pick up/set down point or to have travel and waiting times in excess of 2.5 hours per day. Routes are planned on the basis of the locations of children who are eligible for school transport only.

A number of dedicated school transport services are provided to cater for eligible children attending Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara. The service referred to by the Deputy caters for pupils residing in a distinct locality and is currently operating to capacity. The child referred to is eligible for school transport and has been issued with a ticket for the 2013/14 school year on a newly established service. Bus Éireann has advised that the pupil resides 1.4 km from the nearest pick up point of this service and this is deemed to be a reasonable level of service and within guidelines.