Letterkenny parents’ relief as school bus secured less than a week before start of term

first_img26 students in the Letterkenny area who were left without transport to school have now secured a private hire bus to Milford.Parents of the children were left in a difficult position after Bus Eireann could not provide transport for them, so parents took matters into their own hands and began exploring all of their options.The students attend Loreto Community School and Mulroy College, and with the academic year starting on Wednesday – parents were anxious about how their children would get to school until it was announced yesterday that they had secured a private hire bus. Parents with children on the private hire bus will have to pay at least €1000 on just transport – almost more than half of what other children who secured a place on the Bus Eireann bus will need to pay.Treasa McKeown explained to Donegal Daily that up until a few days ago, she was under the impression that her daughter had been offered a seat on the Bus Eireann school bus.“As far as I was concerned they had offered to provide a seat and I paid the fee. I was aware that there is a lottery system in place, but Bus Eireann were very unclear and ambiguous in their communication to me. It came as an awful shock that my daughter didn’t have a place on the bus.“When I thought she had a seat, I was delighted and suggested that parents would be happy to pay an extra €5 if Bus Eireann stopped closer to Letterkenny so as parents wouldn’t have to drop their children off at Aughnagaddy. They took my idea on board but my daughter was still left without a seat.” Thankfully they have now secured a private hire run with Jim McGlynn and are very relieved.“Now we have a great bus driver who is very dependable. We managed to get five zones in Letterkenny included, and Jim was very happy to take this on. Children will be collected near Mr. Chippie instead of Augnagaddy. We’ve landed on our feet. It will cost the parents €25 a week per child to have a seat on the bus, which is very reasonable considering I used to pay €20 a week for my daughter to go to Woodlands.“Jimmy Cavanagh was very helpful in this process, he really did his best as a public representative. Jimmy also suggested we approached Jim McGlynn so we are very thankful for that. Donegal Coaches were also fantastic but in the end it just came down to the cheaper price.“We also have a clause put in place with Jim McGlynn that any child with a seat this year will be guaranteed a seat next year so as parents don’t need to go through the stress of the lottery system.“I set up a Facebook group so as all of the parents who were in the same position could speak. Parents have been stressed to the max worrying about sending their child to school, but this shouldn’t be an issue.” Some of the children come from the opposite side of the town such as Ballymacool.“It’s the parent’s choice to send their kids to a certain school, and it’s important that the children have a say too. If you make a child go to a school they’re not happy in, they will lose interest in school and may become stubborn and resistant. The government has to acknowledge this.”Treasa says that she has taken over ensuring that parents pay for the bus a month in advance, but despite this responsibility, she is just relieved that they have an outcome.“If you’re living within the Bus Eireann catchment area it’s €350 for the year, and along with the feeder bus that I suggested that’s an extra €180, so parents will pay something in the region of €530. “For our private hire bus, we’ll be paying around a thousand euro per child. It’s not possible to give concession prices for siblings as we’ve already gotten a rock bottom price, it’s just not feasible.“We’re seeing a lot of funding going into the childcare sector, particularly pre-primary. But they’re forgetting about the children as they grow up further down the line.“There needs to be a change in procedure on Bus Eireann’s behalf to be more clear. There were two or three missed opportunities that they could have taken to inform me that my daughter wouldn’t have a place.“We hope everyone else is sorted. We only have two rows free and we hope that other parents won’t need to go through the same ordeal.”Some parents who were left stuck would be interested in speaking to a solicitor who specialises in contract law to explore their options.Letterkenny parents’ relief as school bus secured less than a week before start of term was last modified: August 27th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:childrenletterkennyMilfordSCHOOLschool busstudentslast_img

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