School transport operators need equal treatment & support – Darren O’Rourke TD
Sinn Féin TD for Meath East Darren O’Rourke today called on the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to provide support and assistance to all school transport operators and not leave some behind due to technicalities.
Speaking today, Teachta O'Rourke said;
“Today I have written to the Minister for Transport highlighting his unfair treatment of some school transport operators, and have called on him to remedy this situation and provide support to maintain these services.
“In what is a blatantly unfair situation, financial support has now been provided to those bus operators who are contracted under the School Transport Scheme. Yet those providing the same service, who were contracted directly by a school or a group of parents, have been left behind without any help.
“When schools do reopen, thousands of children and their parents will rely on these bus services to bring their children to and from school, and so it’s vital they are given the support they need to weather this difficult economic time.
“As a State, we should be encouraging this method of transport, as it takes a significant amount of car journeys off the road every day and reduces dangerous congestion outsides schools.
“I believe this short-sighted policy of not helping these bus companies through this difficult time will have long-term negative consequences, such as fewer companies available to provide this essential service going forward, leaving many parents in a very difficult position come September.
“Minister Ross needs to act now to maintain these school routes and protect jobs in the sector.”