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Now, the reopening of schools presents many issues, not least capacity on school buses and social distancing guidelines that need to be adhered to, then international bus and Rail Union has expressed concerns over this. The general secretary of the new Dermot O'Leary is on the line.
Odermatt, good morning. Good morning, Tony. Now, we were talking a moment ago about the Geet having issues with an effort and its advice and clarity as to how they reach their decisions. We were all pretty dismayed at the idea that a school bus could be full capacity. And yet at the same time, the government telling people, don't take the bus to work yet.
You've been covering it all week. There's a lot of conflicting, conflicting messages and a lot of confusion about why this was what looked like what the devastation said. We'll do our best. It was on the union side to ensure that the schools reopen. I think we all accept that it's Wacol economy to find that the schools do open. But of course, in the middle of all that, there are concerns in relation to the social distancing. And the messaging on Wednesday, I think are overnighters.
There was that a 50 per cent capacity for postmodernity students. We met with the company yesterday and the company, I mean, was there. And of course, that and it's just that logistically possible to move to 50 per cent for primary schools in advance of the schools opening. So, in other words, for a number of weeks, in order for us to get to the point where we can comply with the guidelines, people of the students will be travelling on a full capacity issue.
And we do understand, of course, part that in terms of the regular travellers, I mean, the school bus, the schoolchildren and the bus drivers would have a very strong relationship going back over a number of years in lots of cases. So one would hope that that relationship would bode well for adherence to fairness and issues around compliance with that. Look, there are there is a logistical nightmare. The court, one of the managers from yesterday, and it will take extreme efforts on all sides, including parents, of course, to ensure that we get those schools reopened.
And our partners and there are many stakeholders involved have had to do that. You know, and we have little ones to get that support, normally be able have given all the industrial relations issues. And there are many associated with this. But at the same time, we are conscious of the fact that we need our schools to reopen. Talk to me about what the protocols will be then, because, as you mentioned, school children go to school on privately hired school bus services on the bus, Arun's school bus services, but also on regular public transport, be it Lewis Bénédicte B, commuter rail or be a Dublin bus.
So they are featured in all the I mean, what's it what's the guidance on that?
I mean, is a child supposed to look and say, oh, that looks very crowded, I'm not getting it, it's not an possibility.
And again, you hit the nail on the head in terms of the problems we have. And there are two distinct to distinctly different operations, Herrity, the school bus transport. And again, the initial advice was because the regular travelers and the school children and their siblings, in some cases, no one would understand how you create a type of bubble in that scenario, what it is. And they were lost to the CEOs of each of the operating companies and in the last couple of days, highlighting the fact that the regular bosses, which is probably a bigger problem, had to be honest in terms of the reduced capacity, which currently operates at a 50 percent capacity.
And at the moment and there are possibly enough or for that reason, but there are people that are actually out walking and using those bosses for particularly school schoolchildren, into the mix. That's going to create its own problem with our pay into the companies. And I didn't hear to say it was going to police that the trains and the Lewis are a different problem altogether because of the many access points to trains. And Lewis, is that that's a particular problem as well.
But just ask me a question. I would agree length in terms of the school buses and the concerns we'd have around bus drivers and people, I suppose, that listen to this, that use the school transport system and understand that the they support the profile of the demographic of those bus drivers would be of and I suppose in the category where there would have been a vehicle corn, for example, initially during the lockdown and post drivers can drive a school bus service can off to the age of 70, for example.
So we do have concerns about the proximity to some of the students and it's physically very close to the driver and ways that are fitting screens, again, similar to the capacity issue. They won't have that done by next Wednesday, for example. The advice to your drivers generally is that to wear a mask, as we heard before, I remember possibly you telling me that it wasn't an issue because many of them had been the bosses have been fitted with screens, so they didn't see the need to wear a mask all day and tiresome.
That might be on a long shift to wear a mask continually. What's your guidance to your drivers now?
Well, look, again, the recent that guidance, but we would we would urge drivers, again, just to take any lessons and understand that the school journeys and the length of time spent driving to. I mean, even in the most remote areas, there generally could be an hour, an hour and a half or whatever, could be behind the wheel for a couple of hours as opposed to the lunches that you'd have in the city services, for example.
So we would be advising drivers to wear masks and protect themselves. And again, look, I suppose partly what, raking it in one. But we will walk. I said it's very hard, as I said, to ensure that with that they wanted to raise their colors are one of the variables involved and reopening the schools that as good as what we will offer. But again, look, I was to step into the unknown part, really, as we are particularly towards reopening after the last one was always going to be difficult.
And this was the recent events, not least the issue of with the minister having to resign has demonstrated quite clearly that people in high places are struggling with reopening. Never mind.
And I suppose people like Australia, indeed, some of the tax wake up schools and colleges not gradually open up. It makes much more sense slowly. Also in Canada, they've offered remote learning as an option, with live feeds to classes throughout the day, 50 per cent have taken up this option. That's from AMA.
And that in a rather than special lessons, they just point a camera at the teacher who is in the regular classroom, and the kids can relate to that teacher from a laptop at home at Naumov only this morning announced all children back in school next week.
We just need six hundred more buses and drivers didn't mention that drivers need guide.
The vetting has just done that. I suggest that's a very good point and that's one of the logistical problems. And try to source the fleet and leave us with that Gowda vetting issue and we understand is the Goudey and that others will cooperate in relation to getting that done. But again, look, the test measures would demonstrate quite clearly what I laugh. Well, I suppose it's a case of we want our sovereignty to a point and if the schools reopen and maybe we will have to go back to staggered times.
I mean, I wrote to the dentist of RailCorp back in September, not about the leaders suggesting that school times and the decolletage should be staggered. And that's something that probably will happen. One imagines the situation is so fluid that you want to have a decision made under oath, if you like, that the schools will stagger. But I want to focus on getting them back initially. Let's see what happens then.
Yeah, this one is really on point seven in Leisz. When will the government return to the Doyel and show some leadership? If the children and the teachers of Ireland have to operate at full capacity in schools, then surely our government should to.
Good point from Shabaan, all the stuff going on and you know, we'll we'll bring in legislation to deal with this and that. And they're not setting, so they can't bring in legislation. It's crazy stuff.
Anyway, you are concerned and you've sent a letter to the chief executives of Busser and Boss are clear and ironroad there and outlining your concerns. And you've given a list of the, for example, in Dublin bus, the routes that are usually crammed to the gills with schoolchildren and so on. But you raise the whole issue of policing and who's going to police whatever regulation is in place yet again.
That's a particular problem. We've been raising this issue right back to, I suppose, when initially announced that there's going to be reopening the forswears. We raise the issue with the transport companies and did the entier in relation to who we want to police this because look, again, people that travel on buses and trains regularly will know that buses can be packed. No one is suggesting that the buses are going to return back to the levels they were at last year in terms of capacity and people tried to accept them.
But at the moment, you have a situation even before schools reopen, where some buses are leaving to force a second stop early in the morning. And therefore, in relation to the capacity and the last thing we want here is particular to be there standing on a bus stop any time during the day, particularly in the morning. So there are issues around that. And again, I suppose people lose sight of the fact that the gas, for example, you mentioned, delude yourself.
That's a problem. Trains, they have many access points and people just pile onto the trains normally. And in that type of situation, it's going to be difficult. So always have the companies. And one hand we need to understand who's going to police. This will also say, of course, that we cooperate with any interventions and initiatives that would allow the public transport to be policed. So there are a number of issues. But again, look, as I said, the approach is quite clearly to ensure that schools reopen and cooperate with.
With at the same time the safety concerns that we do have. OK, look, Jeremy, thank you very much for joining us. That's Dermot O'Leary, general secretary of the NBA. Are you introducing Go Loud Jazz, the new home for jazz music in all its forms, big band, bebop, smooth and everything in between.
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