School bus safety measures should have been introduced years ago – Alliance

Strangford Alliance Assembly Member Kieran McCarthy has welcomed new school bus safety measures but has slammed the four parties involved in the last Executive for not implementing them sooner. His comments come on the day that Minister Maria Eagle announced that funding will be made available for over 100 new buses which will have seatbelts fitted.

Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “This scheme should have been implemented a long time ago by the four local parties involved in the former Executive.

“The Executive parties had a chance to introduce these measures after a report five years ago from the Assembly’s Environment Committee on school bus safety. However, they chose not to act and merely continued their petty squabbles instead of trying to implement real policies which would impact positively on people’s lives here.

“Alliance has been campaigning for a number of years for the introduction of more safety measures for school buses, so I am glad to see that the penny has finally dropped and government has decided to act.

“It is, however, a pity that we had to wait for Direct Rule Ministers to bring in this scheme, when the Northern Ireland Executive should have done so years ago.

“Alliance would like to see the abolition of the three for two rule, which currently sees three children sitting in bus seats designed for two people.

“Standing on school buses must also be abolished to help further ensure the safety of children here.”


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