Sinn Féin TD for Meath East Darren O’Rourke today called for the caretaker Minister for Transport Shane Ross to provide clarity to bus and coach drivers who have been left behind by the government during this recent economic downturn.
Speaking today, Teachta O’Rourke said;
“Thousands of workers in the bus and coach industry in Ireland are being stonewalled by the Minister for Transport, who continues to ignore requests for support, assistance and guidance for their sector.
“I have made contact with Minister Ross numerous times on this, but I am getting nothing back from him. He seems to have checked out from his Ministry already.
“The bus and coach sector employs thousands of workers and provides essential services for hundreds of thousands of commuters, tourists, event-goers and schoolchildren across our island.
“The recent lockdown, closure of schools and the collapse of the tourist, sporting and events industries here, have all added to the massive challenge these companies are now facing.
“We agree with calls from the Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland, for the need for representatives from the sector on the tourism task-force and also for the need for a public transport task-force to examine how best to restart the industry.
“The Minister for Education today commented on the difficulty for schools returning with a two-meter social distance policy in place. This will add further worry to those bus companies who rely on school routes for a large part of their business.
“Minister Ross needs shape up and engage with business and workers representatives in this area as a matter of urgency. He cannot continue to ignore the entire sector.”