Written Answers - School Transport.

Tuesday, 7 February 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 614 No. 16

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  474.  Mr. P. Breen  Information on Pat Breen  Zoom on Pat Breen   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the reason a person (details supplied) in County Clare has not been facilitated [358]with school transport; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3831/06]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science (Miss de Valera): Information on Síle de Valera  Zoom on Síle de Valera  Under the terms of my Department’s post-primary school transport scheme, a pupil is eligible for school transport if she or he resides 4.8 km, 3 miles, or more from the post-primary centre serving the catchment area in which she or he resides. The scheme is not designed to facilitate parents who choose to send their children to a post-primary centre outside of the catchment area in which they reside. However, children who are fully eligible for transport to the post-primary centre in the catchment area in which they reside may apply for transport on a concessionary basis to a post-primary centre outside of their own catchment area — otherwise known as catchment boundary transport. These children can only be facilitated if spare seats are available on the bus after all other eligible children travelling to their local post-primary centre have been catered for. Such children are obliged to make their way to the nearest pick-up point within that catchment area.

My Department understands from the transport liaison officer for County Clare that the student referred to by the Deputy has applied for catchment boundary transport. My Department also understands that there is no spare seat available on the relevant transport service to accommodate that person. However, as the position with regard to spare seats may change from term to term, the student should contact the local Bus Éireann office each term for an update in this regard.

  475.  Mr. Ring  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the reason a further letter as promised has not issued to a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; and when a reply can be expected. [3841/06]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science (Miss de Valera): Information on Síle de Valera  Zoom on Síle de Valera  Under the terms of my Department’s post-primary school transport scheme, a pupil is eligible for school transport if she or he resides 4.8 km, three miles, or more from the post-primary centre in the catchment area in which she or he resides. The scheme is not designed to facilitate parents who choose to send their children to a post-primary centre outside of the catchment area in which they reside. However, children who are fully eligible for transport to the post-primary centre in the catchment area in which they reside may apply for transport on a concessionary basis to a post-primary centre outside of their own catchment area — otherwise known as catchment boundary transport. These children can only be facilitated if spare seats are available on the bus after all other eligible children travelling to their [359]local post-primary centre have been catered for. Such children are required to make their way to the nearest pick-up point within that catchment area.

My Department understands from the transport liaison officer for County Mayo that the student referred to by the Deputy has applied for catchment boundary transport. My Department also understands that there are no spare seats available on the relevant transport service to accommodate this student. However, as the position with regard to spare seats may change from term to term, the student should contact the local Bus Éireann office each term for an update in this regard.

A response outlining the position has been issued today by my Department to the person referred to by the Deputy.


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