Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan Pauline Tully has warned that children in Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath will again be turned away from school transport this year due to a failure by the government to recognise demand and invest in extra capacity.
Sinn Féin are calling for 10,000 extra places to be funded and made available to help meet demand across the state.
Teachta Tully said:
“This week, parents across Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath are getting notified that they have failed to secure a seat for their child on the local school bus.
“Every year the School Transport Scheme is significantly over-subscribed here and instead of harnessing this demand, the government sit on their hands and let the situation repeat itself, year after year.
“This causes huge problems for parents in Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath who are trying to juggle their work commitments.
“While the decision by Government to eliminate school transport fees for the 2022/2023 school year is welcome, it does nothing to address the capacity constraints. More needs to be done.
“Sinn Féin have called for 10,000 extra seats to be added to the system across the state, in addition to investing in new school buses and eliminating school transport fees. That would make a real difference to the lives of families here in Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath and ensure these avoidable pressures don’t occur every year.
“By expanding this scheme, we can cut transport emissions, reduce dangerous traffic congestion outside schools, while providing families with a convenient method of transport for their children.
“Expanding the School Transport Scheme is a win-win for parents and for the environment.
“I am calling on the Ministers for Transport and Education to now step in and immediately increase capacity to ensure as many children as possible here in Cavan, Monaghan and north Meath can be accommodated.”