The safety of school children who said they felt they were being followed by an adult they did not know at a rural school bus stop, has been raised by TD Carol Nolan.
The Independent Deputy Laois Offaly has said she will be engaging with Bus Éireann to request that the company conduct a safety audit of all school bus stops, particularly those in rural or remote parts of the country.
Deputy Nolan went on to say that she will also be raising the matter with the Department of Education and the Department of Transport in the hope that they will provide resource support to Bus Éireann in the event that such an audit is carried out:
She said that there were “very serious personal safety issues emerging around the isolated nature of some of the more rural school bus stops.”
“While the majority of such stops are fine, it needs to be highlighted that very many parents feel increasingly uneasy about leaving their young children in remote areas very early in the morning, especially when the next stop may be in a built up area just a mile or two away,” she said.
“In fact, I am personally aware of an occasion where some young children felt they were being followed by an adult they did not know. This kind of incident brings home to parents the dangers that unfortunately do exist.”
She said that some of the bus stops may have been originally designated by Bus Éireann at a time when parents could safely presume children would be ok.
“By no means am I saying that the issue is widespread, but at the same time it would be helpful if Bus Éireann were to conduct a safety audit so that any problem spots could be identified and so that, in full consultation with parents, assurances could be provided.” said Deputy Nolan.