BUS Éireann has ruled out providing an additional morning and evening transport service for pupils attending Parteen National School from the Westbury housing estate.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Cathal Crowe recalled when he was teaching in Parteen National School there was a small road, which had very little traffic during the day, but would have 300 cars travelling on it at 8.50am.
During a debate on transport issues, Deputy Crowe pointed out people can nip from one side of a town or city in Ireland very quickly during July and August when the schools are closed.
“That tells us that most of the traffic congestion every day, more than 50%, is down to school runs. That is at peak times. I was a school teacher for 16 years. There was a small road in
Parteen that would have no cars on it all day but at 8.50 a.m. we would have 300 cars going up it. That is crazy.
“We tried to deal with that in many ways over the years. We went to Bus Éireann and said we had 100 kids coming from the Westbury housing estate so could we get a bus to go up and down doing two collections.
“Bus Éireann came out and measured and looked at its maps and said that for various reasons we could not because there was another school nearer. That is wrong.
“The sooner the Department of Transport gets its own hands on school transportation away from the Department of Education the better, because it is being viewed through one lens and it is utterly impractical.”
“Imagine the difference it would make to have two bus runs in the morning bringing those kids up and dropping them back.
“It would free up parents to have options for getting to work or working from home and it would take so many cars off the road.”
He proposed the Department of Transport needs to embrace school transportation as opposed to the Department of Education.