Donegal County Council has been urged to seek a reversal of the ban stopping drivers over the age of 70 from driving school buses on behalf of Bus Eireann.
Cllr Donal ‘Mandy’ Kelly slammed the rule at yesterday’s September meeting of Donegal County Council, saying that “common sense has gone out the window”.
The Letterkenny area councillor urged the local authority to contact the National Transport Authority, Minister for Transport and Bus Eireann to have the age limit for school bus driving reviewed.
“Bus operators are losing great drivers and even losing runs over this,” Cllr Kelly said.
“A lot of our youth nowadays are emigrated or are in the process of emigrating and bus drivers are very hard got.
“The school run actually suits this age category better than younger people.”
Cllr Kelly said it made no sense that the rule only applies to school runs.
“It’s ridiculous that the same driver over 70 can drive the same bus full of children to a swimming pool or a football match.
“Maybe it is time that we get officials from Bus Eireann around the table for discussion. I’m not sure that this is all down to Bus Eireann. We need to find out who is behind this outrageous rule in my opinion.”
Cllr Kelly asked the council to seek a change in the Bus Éireann policy so that drivers over the age of 70 can continue to drive school buses, subject to regular medical check-ups. The council has agreed to write a letter on the matter.