Bus Éireann says shortest route is to send children up the mountain!
Shocked parents in Urris have been told that they must pay up to €650 to send their children on the bus to Carndonagh Community School because Bus Eireann has used the road over Mamore Gap to calculate that Buncrana is their nearest school destination.
Generations of students from the Urris area have attended secondary school in Carn for many decades but Bus Eireann says that Buncrana is now closer and as such a subsidised bus service will only be provided for travel to Buncrana.
Officials have made the controversial policy change based on the most direct route on the map being straight over the treacherous Mamore Gap even though the road is entirely unsuited for bus travel and Bus Eireann will not actually send any coaches on it.
The move has angered parents and left schoolchildren, who had been gearing up to go to Carn Community School next term, totally devastated.
One mother, speaking on behalf of all of the parents, said: “We are appalled by this decision. We are being told ‘pay for a bus’ or drive to Clonmany and they can get a bus service to Buncrana from there. It is just unacceptable.”
“Carndonagh is closer to us than Buncrana is. Bus Eireann is measuring the distance via Mamore Gap and you couldn’t take the children on there every day, it would be putting their lives at risk. It’s ridiculous.”
If parents in Urris still want their children to go to Carndonagh Community School then they will have to stump up €350 in transport costs with a maximum of €650 per family.
Parents who have other children at Carndonagh Community School may no longer be eligible for their free school bus either. They may have to face the difficult decision to move their child to a school in Buncrana or pay up the transport costs.