Parents challenge EA over bus pick-up point

MLA Joann Dobson with councillor Glenn Barr with some Gilford parents
MLA Joann Dobson with councillor Glenn Barr with some Gilford parents

Residents of Gilford’s Woodlands area are calling on the Education Authority to reinstate a school bus pick-up point at the entrance to the estate, for pupils attending Tandragee Junior High School.

Parents say that following recent changes, instigated by the EA and resulting in a new bus operator taking over the route, the Woodlands pick-up, reportedly in place for deacades, has been discontinued.

The decision, they say, means children must now be picked up at the Whinney Hill.

Residents enlisted the aid of Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Councillor Glenn Barr at a recent site meeting between EA officials and parents.

Mrs Dobson, said: “Following written contact with the Education Authority and the Education Minister on behalf of the parents and pupils it became clear that a site meeting would be necessary.

“I am concerned that, despite the EA knowing that a historic pick- up arrangement existed for pupils at Woodlands, no one thought to even attempt to protect it or make alternative arrangements.

“The last thing a parent or pupil getting picked up by school bus should be thinking is whether this is an authorised or an unauthorised pick- up and I stand behind these parents in requesting that it be reinstated.

“I thank those parents who took the time to join us at the meeting and also the EA officials who attended, listened and agreed, following our request, to contact the new bus operator in an attempt to re-establish the pick-up point.”