Waiting times for driving tests in Limerick ‘completely unacceptable’

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Séighin Ó'Cheallaigh, and Malachy McCreesh, Sinn Féin. Photo: Cian Reinhardt
Séighin Ó'Cheallaigh, and Malachy McCreesh, Sinn Féin. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

THE waiting time for driving tests in Limerick is “completely unacceptable”.

That’s the view of Sinn Féin councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh, who was responding to figures obtained by his party this week which show the target is not being met in up to half of the State’s test centres.

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The average waiting time in Limerick is 12 weeks.

“This does not include the figure of 1,084 who are awaiting a scheduled test date for a test,” the City East representative said.

“The RSA (Road Safety Authority) say they aim to have a national average waiting time for a driving test of no longer than 10 weeks. The longest number of weeks people in Limerick waiting for a driving test is 20 weeks, nearly half a year to do a driving test.”

According to Ó Ceallaigh, the main factor causing this is the shortage of testers to deal with the demand.

“A significant number of testers have retired in recent years. This is foreseeable, and I do not accept that new testers could not have been recruited to ensure that these retirements did not affect the service.

“The recruitment process has been slow and is simply not good enough. The Minister needs to support the RSA in recruiting significant numbers of new testers to cope with demand.

“This situation has been ongoing for a long time and it is completely unacceptable that this hasn’t been resolved to date.

“People in County Limerick, and even in parts of the city are completely reliant on driving to get to work or education. Public transport is simply not an option for many people with either a shortage of services, or no service at all within walking distance.

“Many commuters would have to take two buses and walk to their place of employment or education, and often the times don’t suit their need. It very important that these waiting times be resolved, in order to facilitate those who are ready to take their test and are reliant on driving to go about their daily business,” he concluded.