THE frustrated parents of a number of Dromore Central Primary School pupils are calling on the Southern Education Board to take the 'High' road and lay on a bus to bring their children to school.

According to the Blackskull parents the Board does provide transport for children from the area who attend Dromore High School and they want to see like provision for their children.

Lagan Valley MP and MLA Jeffrey Donaldson, who has taken up the families' cause, said the transport problems they faced came as fallout from the relatively recent closure of Tullymacarette Primary School.

It was since the closure of Tullymacarette, he said, that many of the children in the Blackskull area attended Dromore Central, a move encouraged by the SELB.

The Stormont minister recently met with a delegation of Blackskull parents eager to make their case for the provision of school transport, a case Mr. Donaldson accepts and supports.

He pointed out that, in relation to Blackskull, Dromore Central fell outside the statutory two-mile walking distance and yet none of the pupils concerned were presently provided with school transport, he said.

"I fully support these parents from the Blackskull area in their quest to have a school bus to provide transport for their children who attend Dromore Central Primary School," he said. "The fact is that if Tullymacarette were still open then these children would have a primary school in their own local, rural community.

"When it (Tullymacarette PS) closed the Board encouraged parents to transfer children to Dromore Central; I therefore believe the Board has an obligation to provide school transport for these children, who are living in an area with a growing population.

"The Board already provides transport for pupils attending Dromore High School who live in the Blackskull area and there is no reason they should not do the same for the primary school children."

Mr. Donaldson, who has asked to meet Board officials on the issue, said the Blackskull parents concerned were significantly inconvenienced on a daily basis by the need to transport their children to and from school, while at the same time the situation only served to add to traffic congestion at Dromore's Banbridge Road.

"It therefore makes sense," he said, "and is in everyone's interest to find a resolution to this problem.

"We have asked for a meeting with the transport officers for the SELB and we will be making the case to them for the introduction of a school bus service between the Blackskull area and Dromore Central Primary School."