Leitrim councillor calls for area grant for school transport to be increased

Families don't want grant, they want a bus service

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Cllr Padraig Fallon.

Sinn Fein councillor, Padraig Fallon, is calling on the Department of Education and the Government to conduct a review of the Remote Area Grant that is provided to families for school transport.

Speaking at this month’s council meeting Cllr Fallon said that the levels of payment covered by the grant were simply not enough.

He cited one example where a family with three children were getting a grant of just over €200 to bring their children on a 15km round trip to school each day.

The financial cost of bringing children to school is crippling some families in Leitrim.  While these children are entitled to a school bus ticket the problem is that there is no school bus providing transport in these areas.

"The current (maximum grant available to these families is €933 per annum but it is virtually impossible to get the full amount," he pointed out.

"I want the Department of Education and the government to review this grant and to provide families with either a bus to bring their children to school or a grant that represents the true operating cost of bringing children to school taking in to account insurance, motor tax, wear and tear on a car and the time it takes to travel to and from the school.

"Ultimately this grant needs to be doubled to reflect these costs."