Social Democrats TD for Wicklow Jennifer Whitmore has called on parents to take part in a survey on school transport by the Department of Education. The Department is currently in the process of conducting a review of the School Transport Scheme including for children with special educational need, primary and post-primary school transport schemes.
Speaking on the review, Deputy Whitmore says, “if you are a parent of a school-aged child, now is a good time to make your voices heard, whether your child currently does or does not get a bus to school. This is an opportunity for you to raise your child’s transport needs in relation to schools and to see if the School Transport Scheme can better response to what families are looking for.
“I know that school traffic is a huge issue for schools across Wicklow and that parents want to see less cars and less traffic in these areas. We also need to reduce our dependence on cars to reduce carbon emissions and the harmful effects of air pollution caused by car use near schools.
“I recently introduced a Bill banning the idling of cars near schools to help address the issue of localise pollution but one way which could reduce car emissions overall is to expand the School Transport Scheme to make it more effective and sustainable, responding both to the needs of parents and their children, as well as to our environmental obligations.
“More children should be able to get a bus to school and is something I have been advocating for including a looped Local Link bus route which could drop children off near most local schools in the mornings and afternoons. This would be safe for younger children as well as it would be a short bus loop.
“There are also some schools with a large percentage of children commuting from rural areas in Wicklow. This is both a reflection of the lack of local school places but also the lack of bus infrastructure for school going children. The scheme must take this into consideration.
“Parents and guardians are being invited to complete a survey, which is accessible via the attached link https://dessurveys.education.gov.ie/surveys/Parent-and-Guardian-SchoolTransport-Survey and on gov.ie at gov.ie/schooltransportreview.
“Post-primary students are also being invited to complete a survey which is accessible via the attached link https://dessurveys.education.gov.ie/surveys/Post-Primary-PupilsSchool-Transport-Survey and on gov.ie at gov.ie/schooltransportreview. The closing date for completing these surveys is Thursday 10th February 2022” concludes Whitmore.