Northern Ireland news

Education Authority blames Covid for bus driver shortage as school term starts

Maguiresbridge Primary School is on one of the routes affected on Wednesday by a shortage of school bus drivers.
Staff Reporter

The Education Authority (EA) has apologised as hundreds of children have been left without school bus transport in Co Fermanagh and Tyrone.

As the new school term gets underway, the EA said a bus driver shortage caused by the Covid-19 disruption meant no buses would be available for a number of routes on Wednesday September 1.

The affected routes are in Fermanagh and the Fivemiletown area of Co Tyrone. They are the F045 and F051 from Newtownbutler, the F049 from Derrylin, the F061 from Derrygonnelly, the F082 from Tempo, and the F099 from Fivemiletown.

An EA spokesperson said they had "worked extremely hard to deliver essential services, such as transport, throughout the Covid pandemic".

They continued: "However, like many essential services we continue to experience challenges. We make every effort to prevent services being affected, however issues can arise at extremely short notice and it may not always be possible to put in place alternative transport arrangements.

"Where this is the case we do our best to communicate any disruption and would apologise for any inconvenience. We greatly appreciate the continued support of schools, parents, our staff and transport operators during this time and will continue to do all that we can to deliver this essential service for pupils."

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