After questioning the Minister in the Seanad this morning on the issue, the Galway West – South Mayo Senator says:
‘I was quite taken aback at the complete lack of concern from the Minister on this issue today. He said he has no responsibility for the service in question, but when I pressed him to ask if he was concerned in relation to the impact of the cutting of the bus service on students, parents and staff in a school he is responsible for, he had nor amswer.
‘I put it to him that delivery of education is affected by transport services being available and suggested he would intervene with Bus Éireann or Minister Ross on the issue he would not commit to doing that either.
‘Services from Westside to Claddagh, Scoil Einde to Seacrest and Claddagh to Westside via Salthill were all cancelled a number of weeks ago. The service from Westside to Claddagh was cut overnight with no public consultation.
‘This bus has been serving Claddagh National School for almost 30 years and was cancelled without consultation or proper notification just as winter began. We now have families with very young children walking several miles to school at the darkest, coldest and most dangerous time of the year.
‘Hundreds of students, parents and staff, led by the Claddagh National School Band, marched in protest to the coach station at Eyre Square last Friday over the recent decision to scrap the service.
‘It makes no sense, with the traffic chaos we already have in Galway, to be putting more people in cars, taxis and out on the street to walk in cold dark, wintry weather as oppose to transporting them by bus.
‘It’s clear that we can’t depend on this government to do anything to rectify the situation and that we as public representatives will have to support the campaign to have the service reinstated by other means’.