Upper Bann Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

O'Dowd welcomes minibus mitigation

Published: 3 November, 2017

Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd has welcomed confirmation that community and school based minibus drivers throughout Upper Bann will be permitted up to six-month extension to enable them to meet new driving regulations which came into effect on November 1st.

The Upper Bann MLA said:

"Concerns remain over the impact of the controversial changes on the future of community and school transport systems but the six-month extension is a positive step.

"Sinn Féin has been in constant engagement with the Department for Infrastructure on their proposed changes to minibus licencing requirements and I welcome confirmation that those drivers who have initiated the licencing process will be allowed up to six months to obtain their documentation.

"This will come as welcome news to many local schools and community transport providers and users throughout Upper Bann who rely heavily on such transport.

"However, concerns remain around the wider impact these changes will have on the ability of transport providers to source drivers and Sinn Féin is continuing to seek further mitigation measures to ensure services are protected.

"We believe there is a particular impact on rural communities, disabled people, schools and youth services throughout Upper Bann who rely heavily on community transport services.

"We have made a strong submission to the department arguing for robust mitigation measures based on their equality obligations to protect vulnerable groups and will continue to press for suitable measures to be put in place."