Thursday, 5 February 2004

Ceisteanna (92)

Ned O'Keeffe

Ceist:

92 Mr. N. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has received a report from Bus Éireann regarding school transport in respect of children in County Cork (details supplied). [3512/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

Bus Éireann has advised my Department that the family to whom the Deputy refers reside 4.9 miles from their nearest appropriate school and 1.5 miles from the route of service to this school.

As a rule, primary school transport routes are planned so that, as far as possible, no eligible child will have more than 1.5 miles to travel to a pick-up point. Pupils living off the main route of a service are generally expected to make their own way or to 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.

My Department does not propose to make alternative arrangements for the family concerned as their current level of service is within guidelines, and these guidelines also apply to closures and amalgamations. However, there is a facility available under the scheme whereby parents of eligible children may pay for a private extension of service. If the family concerned are interested in the above, they may contact my Department's school transport section, Clonminch, Tullamore, County Offaly, for details.