Minister for School Transport John Halligan has agreed to review the school transport problems for students from the Kilmacrennan and Termon area, traveling to the two secondary schools in Milford town.
It follows a cross party delegation of Oireachtas members from Donegal, including Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher and Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn.
Speaking after the meeting Deputy Gallagher said he had spoken with many of the parents of the students directly affected by this decision over the past week and he had raised the issues with the line Minister in an effort to get a resolution to this problem and for him to get directly involved in solving the problem.
Deputy Gallagher added: “Minister Halligan gave us a very fair hearing, and I was joined at the meeting by Deputy Pringle and Senator Mac Lochlainn and apologies from Deputies Mc Conalogue and Doherty who were unable to be present.
“The Minister is to receive his report by the end of next week and I would expect a decision will be made by then, I am very optimistic that the Department will reach a solution which will accommodate the students that are affected by the lack of capacity on the school buses for the routes affected at present concluded Pat the Cope.
Senator Mac Lochlainn revealed the Minister has also agreed to review the school transport problems for children in the Gleneely area of North Inishowen traveling to their local National School.
Senator Mac Lochlainn said: “We conveyed in the strongest terms the hardship that parents from these areas have faced due to the shortage of seats in buses to these schools for their children and students”
“In the case of the students traveling to the two secondary schools in Milford, we outlined that under the terms of the school transport scheme, 21 of the 33 students who have been denied a seat on their local school buses are indeed “eligible” and entitled to a bus service and that therefore, the provision of an additional bus for them could cater for all 33 students including the so called concessionary students.
We believe that the Minister and his department must provide for all these students”.
“In the case of the nine children from the Gleneely area, I outlined the unfairness of how many parents, whose children had a seat on the local school bus over recent years had been left out this year and the hardship this brought on these families.
“The provision of a larger bus could cater for all of these children and I am mindful that the additional places on the bus are for families that would be required to pay the maximum contribution of hundreds of euro under the concessionary rule so this is certainly not a charity”.
“The Minister has now agreed to immediately review the school transport problems in both areas and revert back to us with his response”.
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