Dáil Éireann - Volume 495 - 03 November, 1998

Written Answers. - School Transport.

657. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason a national school bus service for a school (details supplied) in County Mayo has been altered. [20984/98]

658. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will arrange for a national school bus service schedule serving a school (details supplied) in County Mayo to be altered back to the satisfactory timetable that was in operation up until some weeks ago. [20986/98]

659. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason for the recent alteration in a bus service timetable for a school (details supplied) in County Mayo. [20985/98]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): I propose to answer Questions Nos. 657, 658 and 659 together.

The transport service to the school in question has been recently reorganised following the retirement of a contractor. The school is now served by a bus which operates a feeder service to a post-primary centre and also caters for another national school.

It is possible to re-organise this service so as to [1770] ensure that pupils would be in a position to fulfil their minimum school day of 5 hours and 40 minutes.

This service would arrive at school at 8.45 a.m. and depart at 2.30 p.m. Alternatively, the pupils could be set down at school at 9.45 a.m. and depart in the afternoon at 3.45 p.m. However, the school has advised my Department that neither of these options is acceptable.

In the circumstances, my Department is currently examining the position to establish whether any other arrangement can be offered. The Deputy will be informed of the outcome.