Parents of secondary school children in Ardcath east Meath are facing a major inconvenience
in the coming days.
It’s emerged that the A129-2 bus service has been withdrawn meaning affected parents may
have to undertake early and late school runs to ensure their children attend and are collected
from secondary schools in Drogheda.
In a statement to Meath Live, Colin Heeney of Bus Eireann said a shortage of drivers is
causing problems for the service.
“Driver shortages are being experienced in many sectors of the economy and throughout the
“In recent weeks, Bus Éireann issued tickets for mainstream school transport on bus services
that had already been secured.
“Unfortunately, in recent days, a number of difficulties have arisen in some localities with a
small number of contracted services.
Very regrettably, in a small number of specific locations contractors have advised us that it
has not yet been possible to provide vehicles / drivers in time for the start of the school year.”
Colin Heeney added that only a small number of routes are affected by the current difficulty.
“While the situation is dynamic with solutions being found, currently this represents
approximately 2% vehicles operating mainstream school transport services.
“Bus Éireann has contacted affected families directly and will maintain communications with
them,” he said.
He went on to say that the lack of service in certain areas could last for a number of weeks.
“In the event that this period is unavoidably extended beyond the end of this week, further
contact will be made with the families affected by Friday 1 September.
“This will be to ensure that an interim arrangement to assist with the cost of alternative
arrangements for the families affected is accessible to those who need it.”
To meet the difficulty, Bus Eireann is putting a grant programme in place.
“The Department of Education is currently in the process of establishing an “Exceptional No
Service Interim Grant” which, will be based on the number of days children attend school and
will be made available to the families.
The grant is only available to the small number of families who have already received a
school transport ticket from Bus Éireann, and where difficulties have meant that transport
will not be in place for the start of the school year on 28th August,” said Colin.
Bus Éireann have made contact with affected families directly.
The families do not need to make an application for the exceptional payment, those who have
been issued a ticket, and do not have a service in place will be contacted after September 1 st
“Work continues to resolve this matter and we are committed to providing transport to these
students as quickly as is possible,” said Colin.