Power of Edendork parents praised after school bus reprieve

A campaign to keep a bus service from Edendork PS has been praised
A campaign to keep a bus service from Edendork PS has been praised

Parents of children who use a bus service from Edendork Primary School to the Creenagh and Coalisland areas, have been congratulated after the Education Authority (EA) made the decision to allow it to continue until June of next year.

An online petition to maintain the service was launched a number of weeks ago after parents were informed by letter that the bus would be withdrawn after Halloween.

Following complaints by local families, however, the EA promised that the service would continue until at least Christmas.

In the last week, the situation appears to have evolved after principal of the school, Anne McAlinden, met with the authority along with local councillor Malachy Quinn of the SDLP and his party colleague, Patsy McGlone, Mid Ulster MLA.

Speaking after that meeting, Mr McGlone praised the work of parents in their campaign.

“This is a direct result of the successful campaign by parents of pupils at the school to highlight their concerns about the impact on safety if the concessionary travel was withdrawn”, said Mr McGlone. “The original decision to remove concessionary transport had also left parents with very limited time to make alternative arrangements. The Authority has been under financial pressure to review their services and they are to be congratulated for listening to the concerns of local parents and the school, and reversing their decision to stop concessionary travel in this case.”

According to the MLA, the EA will also look at sourcing an alternative private transport provider after June.

A spokesperson for EA Southern Region told the TIMES: “The Education Authority will work closely with the School to ensure that from 1st September 2016 those families affected can access a fare-paying alternative. Parents will be kept fully informed of all progress.”