Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

28th September, 2018

Breathnach fights for overhaul of the School Transport scheme

– Additional capacity and better communication with families needed –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach spoke in the Dáil this week on the need for a complete overhaul of the School Transport scheme. Every year we deal with the chaos that ensues when children are told with very little prior notice that their place on the school bus no longer exists.

“This is putting families in an impossible position, where there may not be an alternative to the school transport system. My office has been inundated with complaints about the School Transport scheme, where children have had their concessionary place taken back, while seats are left empty on the bus. I outlined that more planning and communication within the system is needed and particularly timely communication with the families involved. In one instance, the family has no choice but to drop their child off an hour early for school.

“The School Transport scheme is a necessary support for families. It is commendable that in the current year, 117,000 children are availing of it. Some 12,000 of them have special needs. The Minister outlined that the budget currently stands at €190 million. He said that to increase that budget to consider concessionary children will put us outside the legality of the system and outside the criteria laid down to carry eligible children and children with special needs.

“I disagree, as I feel that families are hard pressed as it is, and for those families who have no transport of their own or families where both parents work, I am calling for capacity on the School Transport Scheme to be increased so that every child who needs it whether eligible or concessionary, will be able to avail of it.

-Ends-

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)

(T) 01 6183549 (Email) declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie