In the forthcoming budget I sincerely hope that a proper workable plan is put in place in conjunction with Bus Eireann to avoid what happened over the past couple of months with regard to school buses. Every TD in the Dail has had representations from people who have been affected by this problem since the start of this school year. There have been rules and regulations quoted to parents that have no common sense at all.
Minister Halligan was to do a review, which was a disaster and we have heard virtually nothing over the past number of weeks. Minister Halligan needs to take the bull by the horns on this issue and sort it out once and for all. We simply cannot have a repeat of what went on earlier this year. If a child is willing to pay to go to a local school on a bus then there is no reason why we cannot tender for different sizes of bus on each route. Let the closing date for applications be the end of June for instance and the authorities will know then how many students will need to be accommodated on each run.
The Department loved to complicate things and introduce needless red tape and regulations. We have to realise that we cannot leave children on the side of the road. I will be pressing Minister Halligan to ensure that this budget will address the problems that we have seen with school buses over the past few months