Dáil Éireann - Volume 470 - 22 October, 1996

Written Answers. - School Transport.

194. Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Education if she will allow a child (details supplied) in County Kilkenny to travel to school on a smaller bus, for which her parents are willing to pay in view of the tragic circumstances outlined in a letter from Deputy Aylward to her dated 30 August 1996; and if she will take into account that since this letter the girl's mother has had another baby which makes the current travel arrangements to the school even more difficult. [19274/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Under the terms of the school transport scheme, the pupil to whom the Deputy refers is eligible for concessionary fare paying transport only, as she resides less than two miles from her nearest national school. The most that may be offered, therefore, is concessionary fare-paying transport.

[885] The granting of the fare-paying concession is subject to there being no extra State cost incurred in facilitating the child. The extension of a smaller bus would be a breach of these guidelines, particularly since another bus which could transport the child passes her home.

I regret, particularly in view of the circumstances outlined by the Deputy, that it is not open to my Department to alter the route of the service as requested, to cater for a concessionary fare-paying pupil at extra cost.