Dáil Éireann - Volume 603 - 14 June, 2005

Written Answers. - School Transport.

  80. Mr. Gogarty asked the Minister for Education and Science if any contact has been made with UK manufacturers of school buses with a view to purchasing new models with seat belts; if so, the current availability and timeframe for delivery of such buses; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19758/05]

  Ms Hanafin:My Department, at the invitation of a UK manufacturer, recently viewed a demonstrator bus at Bus Éireann’s headquarters in [1564] Broadstone, Dublin. The bus was fitted with three seats on one of the aisle and two seats on the other. All seats were fitted with seat belts.

In fact, this is the third demonstrator bus viewed by officials of my Department and Bus Éireann. The other two vehicles, which were not manufactured in the UK, were used on trial runs in April.

The question of acquiring vehicles to replace or supplement the existing school bus fleet is under consideration. However, it should be borne in mind that many of the buses used for school transport are privately owned.