Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway, Eugene Murphy has highlighted the fact that people in Roscommon and Athlone are subjected to some of the longest waiting times for driving tests in the country, with some waiting more than four months .
Deputy Murphy recently tabled a parliamentary question on the matter with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross. Figures from the Road Safety Authority were given which provides the data relating to driving test waiting periods as of August, 2017.
“Figures from the Road Safety Authority indicate that people in Athlone have one of the longest waiting times in the country, as they are typically waiting 17 weeks or over four months to sit their driving test, and 1,892 people in County Westmeath have not been scheduled for a test yet,” Deputy Murphy said.
“The waiting time for a driving test in Roscommon is 16.8 weeks and over 700 people have not been scheduled for a test, while there are over 3,000 people in County Galway who have not been scheduled for a driving test yet. Waiting times for driving tests in Tuam is 13.9 weeks; Loughrea 16.6 weeks; Galway city 15.4 weeks; and Clifden is 14.8 weeks.
“The figures in Longford are also quite high at 15 weeks, with over 500 people still not scheduled for a test, while in Carrick-on-Shannon in County Leitrim people are waiting 13.4 weeks to sit their driving test, with 469 people still waiting to be scheduled for a test. In County Mayo, over 1,500 people have still not been scheduled for a test, with waiting times in Ballina at 10.6 weeks and 14.7 in Castlebar.”
Deputy Murphy added that people are being left in limbo, some of whom may be waiting for a full licence for employment purposes. Others, he said, are paying exorbitant levels of car insurance as holders of provisional licences while they await a test date.
To tackle the current backlog, Deputy Murphy has called on Minister Ross to bring forward plans for next year to hire another 11 testers. There are currently 94 full-time testers employed by the Road Safety Authority.