THE lack of seats on school buses across Cork County have left some siblings unable to travel to school together, a meeting in County Hall has heard.
Fianna Fáil councillors Joe Carroll and Frank O’Flynn said the ongoing issue with school buses was “borderline ridiculous.”
“It is happening all over the place, we are like a third world country. Girls and boys being told they are not allowed to use the bus and people trying to carpool,” Mr Carroll said. “I know one woman who had to give up her job in order to take her children to school, it is a ludicrous situation.
“There are youngsters stressed and crying from the issue. This needs to be sorted.”
Cllr O’Flynn said it was the biggest issue the county was facing at present, superseding housing.
“The number of emails and calls I have received, I have never seen so many parents so upset. Education is the greatest right that you have in this country and they are being denied.”
Fine Gael Councillor Kevin Murphy supported the idea that the council write to Minister for State John Halligan about the issue.
“It is beyond belief about the lack of resources, it comes up every year and it is very frustrating for us. Greater resources need to be committed to school buses. The Minister needs to wake up.”
Independent Councillor Mary Linehan Foley said for the mental health and wellbeing of the students, this should be rectified. “It is stressful enough for children to be starting school than having this Cllr Alan Coleman said it was the biggest problem the councillors had over the summer and said it needed small money to solve the issue and a policy change.”
Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath said it is a problem every year and it is getting worse and worse.
“There seems to be a breakdown in the system. We need to send a strongly worded letter to look for a review “It is absolutely nonsensical that the Government can’t see the bigger picture.”
County Mayor Christopher O’Sullivan said the government needed to get to grips with the issue.
“The issue has cropped up time and time again and the service is clearly unfair. There is a complete lack of foresight and planning.”