Moynihan urges Minister to review driving test service capacity and resourcing to cut through backlog now

Published on: 09 March 2021

  Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Aindrias Moynihan is calling on the Minister for Transport to review capacity and resourcing to cut through the backlog of outstanding driving tests that can still be safely carried out during Level 5 restrictions. 

Deputy Moynihan commented, “The backlog of people awaiting a driving test is growing due to the ongoing pandemic, however there is capacity and resourcing within the service to safely do testing for motorcyclists and even bus drivers, due to the ability to maintain acceptable social distancing in these cases.  

“This could ensure that when restrictions are lifted later this year that at least that cohort of people will have been dealt with and the service can then tackle the motor vehicle drivers and other licence classes that have been unable to get tested. 

“The same idea could be used to ensure that lessons for learner motorcyclists can also still take place now. We really need to look at where it is safe to do these things and ensure that we carry them out – it can genuinely help cut through the growing backlog now.” 

Deputy Moynihan added: “The RSA have stated that it is not possible for them to provide waiting times for the driving test because the service is not operating as normal. However, they added that as tests are only available to essential workers right now that they have surplus capacity and can offer test slots to essential workers on demand. So there is capacity there to work with right now.” 

Deputy Moynihan has already raised these issues with Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan’s department and is awaiting a response. 

Deputy Moynihan continued, “We need to know what plans are in place to address the issue of long wait time for driving test dates due to the Covid Pandemic. We also need to know what plans are in place to address the issue of driving lessons not continuing during the current Covid Pandemic. 

He added: “Between Cork City, Skibbereen and Mallow there are 6022 people awaiting a driving test. The RSA has said that they would need 80 extra testers to get this wait time down to 10 weeks by next March. It has gotten to the stage where an actual estimated wait time cannot be given to people seeking a test. It is understood that the wait time can be up to six months in many cases.”