Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (189)

Paul Kehoe


189. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if an extension to a school bus route (details supplied) is under consideration; if so, when the outcome will be decided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28514/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.

The purpose of my Department's School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school.

There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.

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.   

Bus Éireann has advised that the service in question is operated by a 53 seater vehicle and it is not possible to extend this service as the road is too narrow for a large vehicle to traverse.  Bus Éireann has advised that the pick-up point referred to by the Deputy has been assessed as being suitable as a pick-up point under the School Transport Scheme.

Parents are responsible for ensuring that children are brought safely to and collected safely from Bus Éireann designated pick up and set down points.

The terms of the scheme are applied equitably and on a national basis.