independent

Thursday 13 December 2018

Learner drivers in Wexford facing lengthy wait for test

Almost 2,800 people are on the waiting list for a driving test in County Wexford
Almost 2,800 people are on the waiting list for a driving test in County Wexford

Esther Hayden

A total of 2,770 learner drivers in Wexford face a wait of up to 21 weeks before they can sit their driving test.

New figures show that of 77,419 applications to the RSA for driving tests 39,162 are waiting to be given a date for their test. A further 20,062 are waiting for a scheduled appointment with their local test centre and 18,195 are not available for the test either because they have not completed their essential driver training - a required minimum of 12 one-hour lessons with an approved driving instructor - or they have not had their learner permit for the mandatory minimum of six months.

The longest waiting list is in Dublin where 21,588 people have yet to do a test, followed by Cork with 8,474 on its list.

Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the Road Safety Authority,said that the retirement of driving testers are adding to the backlog.

In Wexford 2,770 people are on the waiting list for driving tests and the average waiting list for the testing centre in Wexford town is 20.5 weeks with the longest wait for cars being 21 weeks. In Gory the average waiting time for a test is 10 weeks however the longest wait for cars is 25 weeks.

The RSA says it aims 'to have a national average waiting time for a driving test of no longer than 10 weeks. Our ability to meet this target depends on the number of applications received. Accordingly, the average waiting time in driving test centres may vary above or below this 10-week target.

Motorists trying to beat the queues in Wexford won't fare much better in neighbouring counties.

In Kilkenny 1,429 people are waiting for a test and the average wait is 15 weeks. 1,566 motorists are waiting for a test in Carlow with an average wait of 15.3 weeks. In Wicklow 1,335 motorists are waiting on test and the average wait is 14.9 weeks while in Waterford 3,142 people are waiting on a test with an average wait of 16.8 weeks.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has previously said that the number of people applying for tests had risen by 20 per cent over the past four years. RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock said that there was an increase in waiting times because of sustained applications alongside retirements.

Gorey Guardian

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