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Mum quits job over ongoing school bus crisis

September 18th, 2019 7:10 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Cllr Joe Carroll.

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A WEST Cork mother has been forced to give up her job to drive her children to school because of the chaotic bus transport system.  

Speaking at a meeting of Cork County Council this week, Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) said the situation which sees some children being left on the side of the road due to lack of space is ‘bordering on ludicrous.’

‘They have been on the bus for the last two or three years and then they find themselves off the bus,’ said Cllr Carroll.

‘It’s like something from a third world country. One woman I spoke to in the Ballineen/Enniskeane area is giving up her job so that she can drive her children to school while others are trying to carpool. There are also some people driving behind the school bus with some of their family actually on the bus.’

Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) described the current system for allocating tickets as ‘archaic.’

‘A localised system should be put in place because the scenarios you have now is that parents are out with sat vavs trying to measure distances and that has to stop,’ said Cllr Coughlan.

 ‘I know of one bus company down in West Cork who put on a bigger bus at no extra charge and that solved the problem,’ said Cllr Danny Collins.

Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) said the critical issue was that the schools system operate on a feeder school, while Bus Éireann operate on catchment areas.

County mayor Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) said he was disappointed with a reply he received from Minister Halligan’s office after writing to him about the problems with the 18 students in Ballineen and Enniskeane.

Councillors agreed that they would write to Minister Halligan on the issue.

Meanwhile, there has been no further progress for the parents of 18 students from the Ballineen and Enniskeane area, who were not allocated seats on schoolbuses to Bandon. These students are being driven to school by their parents and neighbours.

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