26 August 2021
By Tom Collins
“Public transport is still not at full capacity due to COVID, and is not always an option in more remote areas.”
Sinn Féin’s Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has called on the Minister for Transport to take decisive action to tackle the significant driving test backlog.
Ó Laoghaire’s comments come as the Road Safety Authority (RSA) confirmed to him that there are now 4,218 learner drivers waiting for a test in Cork.
The Cork South Central TD said:
“Throughout 2020, we called on successive Ministers for Transport to address this worsening crisis. Neither Minister Ryan nor Minister Ross before him took this problem seriously, and the situation has now greatly worsened.
“This problem is particularly bad in Cork, with 732 learner drivers waiting for a test in Ballincollig, and an incredible 3,486 waiting for a test at Sarsfield Rd.
“Of those waiting at Sarsfield Rd, 1,165 have been waiting over 9 months, 119 over 18 months, and 61 people have been waiting for over 2 years. That is not good enough.
“People need a driving license to get to work and drop kids to school. Many young people look forward to passing their test and gaining some independence.
“Public transport is still not at full capacity due to COVID, and is not always an option in more remote areas.
“This can’t be pushed down the agenda any longer. The Minister isn’t treating this issue with the urgency it deserves.
“There is a clear need for additional driving instructors and testers. Likewise, longer opening hours and weekend tests would go some way to address the lengthening backlog.
“I have written to the Minister, urging him to seek a solution as a matter of urgency. “