Sinn Féin'sKildare South Patricia Ryan
A Kildare TD has called for action to tackle the driving test backlog after she was told that there are over 3,500 people waiting for tests in Kildare.
Kildare South TD, Patricia Ryan TD, has called on Transport Minister, Eamon Ryan, to take decisive action to tackle the massive driving test backlog.
The Sinn Fein TD’s comments come as the Road Safety Authority (RSA) confirmed that there are now 2,929 learner drivers waiting for a test to be scheduled in Naas, 682 waiting to take a scheduled test.
Overall in the State, there are over 90,000 people waiting across the state.
Deputy Ryan said the RSA has confirmed to her that there are now 93,791 people waiting for a driving test, “with some constituents telling me they will be forced to wait until well into 2021 for a test date.”
Deputy Ryan said the Minister for Transport has failed to take decisive action to tackle the growing backlog. The number of people waiting for a test has increased by 70% since June of this year.
She said that with public transport down to 25% capacity and sharing of lifts now not feasible due to Covid, this is causing massive problems for people who need a licence to get to work. “It’s a huge issue for people in rural Ireland, where public transport simply isn’t an option.”
Deputy Ryan said the problem is particularly bad in county Kildare, with 3,611 learner drivers waiting for a test in the Naas testing centre.“In addition, the driver theory test has been suspended until early December, causing further delays for those needing to learn to drive.
“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.
“The Minister needs to urgently consult with instructors, testers and their unions to find a way forward to accelerate the number of tests that can be carried out safely over the coming months.”