Lowry Says Recent Review Of School Transport Scheme Regulations & Eligibility Timely

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Tipperary TD Michael Lowry says the recent review of the regulations and eligibility for the School Transport Scheme were timely as he considers that the Scheme has been a shambles for years.

The Thurles based TD says the Scheme as operated is riddled with anomalies and inconsistencies adding that the rigid interpretation of the rules and regulations deprives children of access and results in chaos every September.

Around 161,000 pupils currently travel to school using the school transport scheme. The review has recommended expanding access to the scheme so that an additional 100,000 pupils can be carried by 2030.

The Deputy referred to the chronic shortage of qualified bus drivers and again called for a change in the rules to allow drivers 70 and over be allowed to drive school buses.

Such drivers can work with a Private Bus throughout Europe and indeed to transport students to games and activities in Ireland. 

Deputy Lowry says the Bus Eireann policy is outdated and ageist that should be scrapped.

The Tánaiste, Michéal Martin responded that perhaps that an Independent Medical Review could enable the unblocking of the situation faced by drivers 70 years and older seeking to work for the School Bus Service.