A CORK mother-of-three secondary school students is forking out €66 per week to transport her kids to a nearby school due to the lack of a public bus service.
Like many people in her immediate area, Lotamore, Mayfield, resident Karen Collin’s children are all attending Glanmire Community College.
She said there are up to 50 children travelling on a private bus hired by local parents, at €22 per child, to go to the school every day due to the lack of a direct public bus service to Glanmire from the area.
“Almost everybody from this area travels to Glanmire for secondary school and there is no public bus service,” she told The Echo.
“On this side of Mayfield, we are kind of separate from Mayfield, but also separate from Glanmire.
“The school is 5.5km away. There’s no way I could ask my kids to walk that distance every day and the hill going down to Barnavara is too dangerous.
“There’s no footpath on half the road. We need a bus route.
“I think it’s important that there are no barriers to kids going to school.
“The kids are also restricted with extracurricular activities after school because the private bus has to collect them to bring them home.
“The driver can’t wait and there’s no other bus to collect them. If I have to get a taxi for them, that is an extra expense.
“If there was a public bus service, they could just catch the next one available,” she added.
Councillor Ted Tynan said the public transport issues Karen and her children have to deal with travelling to Glanmire for school are faced by hundreds of other people in the area daily.
“There are people from the Banduff Road going to Glanmire Community College as well. There are up to 1,000 families there and no bus service down there.
“There is no safety on the local roads either. I have spoken to Cork regional manager Martin Walsh, in Bus Éireann about this but it’s the National Transport Authority that is the issue.
“There are hundreds of houses being built but there are no services and infrastructure being put in for people with young families,” he added.
To access available public bus services to Glanmire, Karen’s family would have to walk approximately 2.3km to access the 221 bus on the Glyntown Road or take the 208 from the Boherboy Road and change to the 245 at Cork Bus Station — a journey that could take up to an hour during peak times.