Fine Gael Senator for Waterford John Cummins has called on Bus Éireann to apply common sense to a very simple school transport matter in Co. Waterford.
Speaking in the Seanad Chamber on Wednesday last Senator Cummins raised the case of a Co. Waterford family who are exceptionally frustrated at the lack of common sense being applied by Bus Éireann to their school transport situation. Outlining the situation Senator Cummins said “On the 2nd of September I was made aware of a case of a family who have children attending the local school in Rathgormac Co. Waterford. The children qualify for a concessionary ticket but have to travel 2.4km in the opposite direction to the school to be picked up by the bus. To arrive at the pickup point the bus drives out this local road 2.4kms, picks up children along the way, loops back on the same road and then travels 3kms to the school.
Senator Cummins went on to describe how he believes his office have put forward a very simple and logical solution to the matter; “instead of the bus looping back on itself, if it continued on the same road it would bring the bus past the gate of the family I am representing and onwards to the school. I’ve personally done the measurements on this myself and it would actually be 100 meters shorter than the existing route, but yet the answers, when I have received them and that’s another bone of contention is that it cannot be facilitated as the children are concessionary tickets.”
In airing his frustrations with the school transport division of Bus Éireann, Senator Cummins described the situation as a “fundamental lack of common sense” and “administration gone mad” and questioned where common sense has disappeared to in these real life, everyday situations.
Similar situations with school transport appear to occur year on year across the country, where ludicrous administrative decisions by some in Bus Eireann make the matter of school transport a nightmare for families. Senator Cummins concluded by stating “I have not yet received a satisfactory response from Bus Éireann on this case, I will continue to raise the matter with top level management in the organisation until a common sense solution is agreed. I understand the contractor is agreeable to the proposed route as it makes sense, the matter simply needs sign off by Bus Éireann. I have also raised the issue directly with the Minister for Education and I am expecting a response from her this week.”