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Matthews Slams Lack of Action on School Bus Services for Ashford

Green TD Steven Matthews has criticised the failure of Bus Éireann and the Department of Education to provide school transport on the B9212 Route from Ashford Village to three schools in Wicklow Town. The 53 students impacted attend Coláiste Chill Mhantáin, Dominican College Wicklow and East Glendalough School. Deputy Matthews has been in frequent contact since the summer with the Area Manager for Bus Éireann, who confirmed that while it is under review, there is no solution at this time. Expressing the need for reforms to the school transport system, Deputy Matthews said:




“It is completely unacceptable that more than 50 children in Ashford have been left without school transport this year. This is an incredibly frustrating situation and I have been in regular contact with the Area Manager for Bus Eireann in an attempt to resolve this issue. I attended a meeting in Moneystown at the start of the school year and parents and local TDs received various assurances from Bus Éireann that this route was being urgently assessed.

 

“We are now closer to the end of the school year than the start and yet the B9212 route remains unresolved. I am fully aware of the challenges that Bus Éireann are facing in terms of recruitment of bus drivers. However, we are now in February – it is no longer reasonable to use that as an excuse, particularly at a time when there is unprecedented funding for the School Transport Scheme.

 

“There are genuine concerns amongst parents, which I fully understand, that this route will not be resolved before the end of the school year and potentially into next year. The additional hassle and stress this puts on parents and families, not to mention the huge number of unnecessary additional cars on the road every day, is totally unacceptable.

 

“I will continue to engage with the Minister for Education and Bus Éireann on this issue and emphasise the need to prioritise a resolution for this route and to ensure that all Wicklow school routes are confirmed with drivers and buses in place well in advance of the new school year in September”, Deputy Matthews concluded.

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