DoE fail to consult with Education Department
Sinn Féin MLA and Chair of the Environment Committee, Cathal Boylan has raised concerns at a meeting of Environment Committee as to the failure of the Department to consult with the Department of Education on the ‘Operators Licence’ legislation for bus drivers.
Mr Boylan said;
‘The Minister must investigate how such a serious error occurred. The Department of Education is probably one of the biggest employer of bus drivers in the North outside Translink with over 900 SELB busses. For them not to be consulted directly is totally indefensible.’
The Newry and Armagh representative continued;
‘The new legislation if implemented will call for bus operators to hold a licence and to operate from a centre or base. Drivers of Education and Library Boards, in many, many, cases, take their vehicles home, so that first thing in the morning they are able to start work immediately and get to their pick up points.’
‘If they are forced to go to a central base, it will involve starting work sooner, and extra diesel usage – both factors will inevitably lead to increased costs for the running of a fleet of buses. As well as major implications for licence costs for the Department of Education to run it’s fleet.’
‘Minister Poots needs to take responsibility for this major over sight, and must answer as to why a major stake holder was left out of the consultation.’ CRÍOCH