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Protest over closure of Lisnaskea bus depot

A PETITION has been launched following the closure of the school bus depot in Lisnaskea. 
The closure took place on Friday, November 30th with the EA bus depot services being moved to Enniskillen, and concerns were raised previously that the closure would impact the safety of school children travelling to school from rural parts of east Fermanagh. 
Vehicle maintenance services which were previously carried out in Lisnaskea have already been transferred to Enniskillen, while only a small amount of bodywork repair was still being carried out in Lisnaskea. 
At the time, a spokesman for the EA confirmed the closure claiming ‘it was no longer considered viable to keep a site of this size open for limited use. All relevant EA transport staff have been informed of the site closure.’ 
The EA also stated that they believe the closure would not impact the safety of school children.
A petition has now being launched online, created by Donal O’Coffaigh, to raise awareness of the concerns which include children safety and the welfare of bus drivers.
The petition ‘Keep Lisnaskea Bus Depot open’ states, “The closest bus depot will be in Enniskillen which will mean school buses will either have to travel there for refuelling or refuel in commercial forecourts in Lisnaskea. 
“This will be very wasteful and bad for the environment and will further increase congestion in the county town. Closing the Lisnaskea depot is yet another local service being removed from our villages and towns but there’s no reason for this to happen.”
Delays, no mobile phone coverage east of Lisnaskea and break downs were also concerns raised by the petition, while it also claims that bus drivers are unhappy about the arrangement. 
The petition also states “the school bus drivers are hugely concerned about the risk of accidents from school buses which are too big to refuel safely at local commercial service stations hitting children or even adults leaving the service station.”
A spokesman for the EA said, “The Education Authority can confirm that the Lisnaskea Transport site has been closed and alternative arrangements for parking and refuelling are in place. Home to School Transport continues to operate normally.”
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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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