Dáil Éireann - Volume 481 - 08 October, 1997

Written Answers. - School Transport.

143. Mr. Browne (Wexford) asked the Minister for Education and Science the plans, if any, he has to review the school transport system in view of the drop in numbers attending schools and the poor quality of school buses operating on some routes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15792/97]

[480] Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): The effect of declining enrolments was one of the issues specifically mentioned in the terms of reference of the school transport review committee which was established in January 1996. The committee's report was received by my colleague, Deputy O'Dea, Minister of State, in September 1997 and is currently under consideration.

Bus Éireann has a policy of continuous fleet replacement which facilitates improvements in the quality of vehicles used in the operation of the school transport scheme. I am assured that all vehicles operated by Bus Éireann and by private contractors are subject to an annual roadworthiness check. They are also regularly inspected to ensure that their reliability is maintained throughout the year.