By Bryan Smyth
Cork South Central TD Michael McGrath says it’s unacceptable that people in Cork are facing lengthy delays at the National Driver Licence Service office in the city centre. There have been reports of people waiting over four hours to be seen, only to be told to come back another day to have their applications processed.
“The Road Safety Authority privatised the licensing system in January 2013, and while teething problems can be expected at the beginning of any new venture, it is a farce that issues with processing remain more than a year down the line. Some customers claim they’ve been waiting over 8 weeks for their licence. These delays are completely unacceptable. The backlogs are having a major impact on people who drive for a living or need their cars for work. People should not be expected to have to wait up to two months for a licence after they have applied and paid for it ”, commented Deputy McGrath.
“The decision to remove the service from local authorities was made in order to improve processing times; however, the situation has actually gotten worse and is now reaching crisis levels. In response to a letter I wrote to the RSA, the organisation admitted the delays were substantial and says the NDLS is planning to introduce a number of new developments to their service.
“I would urge the NDLS to expedite these improvements. Plans for phone and postal applications need to be accelerated to ease the pressure on NDLS personnel as well as applicants. Ordinary people are being severely inconvenienced when applying for a driving licence.
“There have also been a number of complaints about the location of the Cork office, which is just off Copley Street, near Anglesea Street. Many people claim the office is near impossible to find with no proper signage in the area. The RSA says it has added more shop front branding on the building to make it more visible, and has taken out advertising to highlight the location.
“While I welcome these small developments, more needs to be done to ensure the service in Cork is improved. It’s unreasonable to expect drivers to wait up to 8 weeks for their licence when they have provided all the documentation needed and paid for a service”.