90 Wicklow students still without school bus

Wicklow TD Jennifer Whitmore has called on the Department of Education to resolve the outstanding issues of school bus shortages for Wicklow students.

The Social Democrats TD for Wicklow was given an update from Bus Éireann today on several services that have commenced. However, four schools in the county have 90 students in total and no school bus place.

Whitmore said: “I am very frustrated, as are so many parents around Wicklow, that halfway through the school year, we still have 90 students with no school bus operating. It is ridiculous that many students are still waiting for the Department and Bus Éireann to resolve this issue. I know that Bus Éireann have been working hard to get more school buses operating; however, the system, which is ultimately the responsibility of the Department of Education, is in need of an overhaul.

“In their update today, Bus Éireann confirmed that two services will commence on the 11th of December, these being the bus to Wicklow Post Primary (B9202) and to Ashford National School (B8505). A bus service has also commenced to Wicklow Educate Together National School (B8505) which is a very welcome development. However, I know having to wait until December has been a cause of stress for many of the families attending these schools.

“The school bus scheme is not fit for purpose. In Wicklow alone, after months of raising this directly with the Minster for Education on a number of occasions, we still have 90 students with no bus to school. At this point in the year, the Department should be getting organised for the next school year, not catching up on this.

“Not only has there been a lack of urgency from the government to resolve this year’s issues, but there has been no meaningful recruitment of new drivers or bus providers ahead of next year. My office has been contacted by numerous drivers who would be willing to take a school route who have applied and not received a contract or have not been contacted by the Department at all. The Minister for Education cannot stand over putting families, especially those with children with additional needs, through the same level of stress and worry next year.

“I am calling on the Minister to improve the school bus system. It needs increased capacity and increased reliability, and it needs to be made easier to navigate the application process. Having families spend months and months in limbo and going into Christmas break not knowing if their children will have a school bus in the New Year is just not acceptable.”

If you have a story that you think the WicklowNews.Net readers and beyond should know about, we’d love for you to get in touch with us. Submit A Story

Related Stories