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Home to school transport victory will see pupils no longer waiting up to two hours for bus home

It will be welcome news for 10 pupils from Maghery who attend St John the Baptist's College

Ten pupils from a Co Armagh school have won their battle for home to school transport.

Confirmation has been given that a reduction in the waiting time for the young pupils from Maghery at St John’s the Baptist College will now be put in place.

SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly said she is delighted.

Just before Christmas, she voiced her frustration at the Education Authority and had referred the matter to the Children’s Commissioner with the help of the parents.

Pupils had to wait for almost up to two hours for a bus home from school, and Mrs Kelly described this as “unacceptable by any standard”.

She said: “I welcome the response that I have now received from the Education Authority which said ‘negotiations resumed after Christmas, it was agreed that a service would be introduced to drastically reduce waiting times in the afternoon. Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 it had been intended that this service would be introduced and monitored in the final term of 19/20’.

“Work is ongoing between the Education Authority and Translink to assess the impact of social distancing however; it is their intention to have this route in place when the home to school transport network is able to operate at full capacity.

“This unacceptable time for school children to be waiting one and a half hours falls far short of any reasonable public standards and I am delighted a resolution has now been found.”

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