Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has called on the government to immediately reopen the school bus transport ticket system.
Responding to growing frustration of parents across the country, McGuinness said: “The school bus ticket system needs to be reopened immediately. We have a situation where children have no means of getting to school.
“Parents sent in their payment to local offices only to be told that the system was closed and their child will not be allowed on the bus.
“Segregation of children into concessionary and eligible categories is just appalling and needs to be reversed.
“I have heard from many distraught parents who have no way of getting their children to school. This includes healthcare and other essential workers that have work schedules that make it impossible to drive their children.
“The government faces huge challenges ensuring that school transport is provided to all students and also adheres to the public health advice on social distancing.
“That said, we have been socially distancing for months and plans should have been put in place for this foreseeable need for increased capacity to allow for it in school buses.
“Transport to school, particularly in rural areas, was always going to need a specific plan of action. It should never have been let get to this situation. The government should have been out in front of this by putting a plan in place and communicating with parents.
“Parents need to be told what steps are being taken to ensure no children are left behind as schools reopen.”