The army should be drafted in to drive school buses with thousands of families waiting to hear if they are heading back to school with no transport option.
Independent Councillor Ger Carthy made the call on Newstalk Breakfast after it emerged the government decision to offer free school transport has sparked a rush for places.
With schools returning next week, families who previously had places on the school bus system are being told they need to find their own transport this year.
Children on concessionary tickets are most likely to miss out.
Cllr Carthy said Government must call in the army to ensure there’s a place for any child that needs one.
“I think it is important that we provide a service that was committed to by the Government,” he said.
“As far as I’m concerned, that certainly has to be done and if it means the Defence Forces supplying the service to us, so be it.”
He said Defence Forces drivers “absolutely” have the training needed to drive school buses.
“Sure, they’re driving the army band,” he said. “They are driving troops all over the country.
“There’s a large number of drivers in the Defence Forces and we need to think outside the box and we need to deliver this.
“We are in the mouth of the opening the new school year and it’s down to the Defence Forces now because the capacity isn’t within the service.
“They gave a commitment to free transport but unfortunately, we don’t have the capacity to do that.”
Also on the show, Kildare mother of five Emma O’Regan said her three eldest have lost their place on the bus.
She said her daughter is going into fourth year and up until now has been able to get the bus right outside her house and travel the 12km to her school in Newbridge.
“Now, I’m going to have to bring the two primary school kids up an hour early and we’re going to have to drive into Newbridge, drop the three big kids and then come back and drop the two national school children,” she said. “So, it is going to be a bit of a nightmare.
“The bus is still going. My neighbour is still getting the bus, so I’ll literally be following the bus in and out of Newbridge, sitting in traffic with the bus with two tired national school kids with me.”
Ms O’Regan said she applied for the school bus places as soon last year’s term ended – but when the free school transport was announced, her children were put in a lottery draw with all the new applicants.
She said she’s still hopeful a solution can be found.
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