The Union of Students in Ireland has claimed that students are being forced on to the roads because of inadequate public transport after a survey found that four in ten students have their own cars.

The union claimed that thousands of students are 'left stranded on platforms and in bus shelters' every year due to trains and buses delayed and a lack of services.

USI also said that a lack of public transport was putting financially-strained students under even greater hardship because they were spending money meant for food and housing on second hand vehicles.

The union's president, Richard Morrisroe, said the Government had failed to invest in a public transport system fit for the 21st Century.

'Bus and train services, where they exist, are frequently unreliable and expensive. Services are being delayed and cancelled left, right and centre. As if that were not bad enough, public transport provision is absent altogether in many places,' Mr Morrisroe said.

A survey by Bank of Ireland released earlier today found that 35% of students own a second hand car and 5% have a new car.

W5 Marketing Intelligence, which carried out the survey for the bank, put student income at an all-time high, with half of respondents earning over €400 a month after tax.

Over half of all the students surveyed said they received €100 or less per month from their parents and 15% of all students are reliant on a grant or scholarship to get them through college years.

Four out of ten students surveyed stated they would owe less than €1,000 on graduation, with only 28% estimating they would owe in excess of €4,000.

However, one quarter of respondents cited parents as their primary source of income, with many parents paying up to €1,000 per month.