SELB’s ‘reckless’ decision to withdraw bus has put children’s lives at risk: Hearty

September 21, 2010

Councillor Terry Hearty attended a public meeting organised by Culloville Community Association regarding the withdrawal of bus services from Clonalig Primary School, Culloville and St Joseph’s Secondary School, Crossmaglen  

The meeting, which took place on Wednesday 15th  September in the Community Centre, Culloville was described by Councillor Hearty as ‘urgently needed’ due to the danger now posed by parents dropping off and picking up kids at Clonalig School gates.

Councillor Hearty explained, “The Community Association asked me to attend to update parents on the bus issue. I outlined all of the meetings which had taken place to fight the withdrawal of the bus.  There were five different meetings with the SELB during which Sinn Féin representatives put a very strong case forward for retention of the bus.

“The final meeting was with the chairman of the SELB who said he would re examine this very unique case, however he still went along with his colleagues.

“Throughout all of these meetings I was dismayed at how little these SELB referred to child safety.   Approximately fifty people attended this public meeting.  All parents in attendance were very angry about the situation at the school since the removal of the bus. When children are being picked up they describe the situation as hectic with the extra traffic and no parking for dropping off children or collecting them. It’s very clear the reckless decision of the transport department of the SELB has put children’s lives at risk.

“The SELB transport management has yet to produce the paper work to show the saving from previous cuts at other schools in South Armagh. I believe with all the blunders they made they made over savings- I stand by what I said a month ago – the transport management in SELB need to take a serious look at their position.”