Town school­child­ren are dumped on side of road


Bray People - - Bray People - Myles BUCHANAN

STU­DENTS FROM Wick­low Town at­tend­ing Coláiste Craobh Ab­hann in Bray are be­ing forced to travel to Ash­ford in or­der to be picked up even though a bus head­ing to the same school leaves from out­side the Grand Ho­tel ev­ery morn­ing.

A change in the trans­port catch­ment area means par­ents have to cope with rush-hour morn­ing traf­fic to drive their kids to Ash­ford, and rush-hour traf­fic in the af­ter­noon when they go to pick them up.

‘It makes no sense,’ says par­ent An­nette Quinn-Barry.

‘Most morn­ings and evenings I ac­tu­ally find my­self trail­ing the bus that goes to and from Wick­low but my child isn’t al­lowed on it. In­stead he has to get a dif­fer­ent bus at Ash­ford.’

The open­ing of Gael­choláiste na Mara 2007 mean’t Coláiste Craobh Ab­hann wasn’t any longer the only secondary level Ir­ish school in the county and re­sulted in a bound­ary change for the rel­e­vant catche­ment area.

As a re­sult the catch­ment for the Bray school changed from Wick­low town to Ash­ford. While stu­dents al­ready at­tend­ing the school can still avail of the Grand Ho­tel pick-up, any­one start­ing over the past two years has to go to Ash­ford.

‘This af­fects ten fam­i­lies and 13 chil­dren,’ adds An­nette.

‘I live in Marl­ton Court so my son would only has to walk up the road to get the bus from out­side the Grand. In­stead I have to trail be­hind that bus and drive him to Ash­ford through morn­ing traf­fic so he can get an­other bus.

‘It’s a night­mare for me be­cause I have three younger chil­dren who I have to get ready, dressed and bring with me in the car. My car is full of my own kids so I can’t even think of car pool­ing.’

Siob­hán McGuin­ness is an­other par­ents af­fected by the bu­reau­cracy, and has even asked if it was pos­si­ble to pay an ad­di­tional charge so the Wick­low bus would pick up Wick­low chil­dren. Her re­quest was re­fused.

‘The evening pick-up can be par­tic­u­larly bad. It co­in­cides with all the other schools in town fin­ish­ing so you can imag­ine the traf­fic. You have buses all over the town and it can of­ten take at least 50 min­utes to com­plete the jour­ney,’ ex­plains Siob­hán.

She is aware of other par­ents who have one child al­lowed on the Wick­low bus be­cause they were at­tend­ing Coláiste Craobh Ab­hann be­fore 2007, while an­other kid has to be dropped off at Ash­ford.

An­other set of par­ents are about to take their child out of the school be­cause they can’t drive and don’t feel comfortable re­ly­ing on other par­ents.

Wick­low school­child­ren are let off on the side of the road be­tween Ash­ford and Rath­new as the bus con­tin­ues to Wick­low Town and they have to make their own way home.

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