Revealed: 1,400 concessionary ticket applications for 49 school bus seats in Kilkenny

Calls for change: The figures have been described as startling with the scheme “not fit for purpose”

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Maria Davis and her son, Darragh

Maria Davis and her son, Darragh

Kilkenny parents made almost 1,400 applications for concessionary seating on buses to take their children to school with only 49 seats available in the county, new figures have revealed.

The Kilkenny People previously reported that parents in Mullinavat are paying a taxi every morning to send their children the 20kms to secondary school because they have been denied a seat on the bus route to New Ross.

There are almost 20 children in total from the Mullinavat, Tullogher and Listerlin area of south Kilkenny who have lost or not secured a seat on the route this year.

Concessionary seats are allocated on school bus routes but if there is greater demand for seats from students closer to a particular school then the more eligible students get the seats.

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, John Halligan, confirmed that the figures for concessionary school transport for the 2017/18 school year in Kilkenny saw 1,383 applications with 1,191 tickets issued and 49 seats available.

The mother of one of the children affected in Mullinavat, Maria Davis, said: “We continue to pay a taxi to bring our children to school and carpool to bring them home every evening. We did receive our €350 back from Bus Éireann after the children returned to school.

“The information is shocking."

For more on this story, pick up this week's Kilkenny People