Pupils on buses left in tears as temperatures soar
CHILDREN were left in tears at having to sit on school buses without air conditioning during a heatwave, drivers have claimed.
It has been suggested temperatures inside Education Authority (EA) vehicles pushed 50C last week - hotter than Doha.
Water spray and ice lollies are among the measures taken by staff to ensure children stay cool.
While schools are finished for the holidays, buses will continue to be used for youth service trips and summer schemes.
Drivers have raised complaints with the EA saying more needed to be done for "the most vulnerable in our society".
Some drivers complained on social media saying they had not received an adequate response to their concerns about "oven type buses".
"Buses were pushing 48 to 50 inside, kids struggling crying shouting because of the heat," one wrote.
"We drivers and escorts do our best - give the kids ice pops, water, ice lollies. At times it's hard to drive with the sweat blinding your eyes."
An EA spokesperson said last night that older vehicles in its fleet were not fitted with air conditioning units.
"The fitting of air conditioning units is included in the specification of its new vehicles," he said.
"During the extended period of unusually hot weather, EA advised drivers of additional steps they should take to help ensure pupils comfort such as parking in shaded areas where possible, using all available ventilation, closing sun blinds, and the provision of bottled water for staff and passengers."