Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed) - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
Driver Test Waiting Lists
I do not know how many are due to retire this year. I will give the Deputy some figures that are quite optimistic, although they might not please him much because of that. In his area the average waiting time in Athlone is 8.7 weeks and the longest waiting time is nine weeks. In Longford, the average waiting time is 10.9 weeks, which is again below the national average, and in Mullingar it is 12 weeks. The Deputy is quite right that it is unsatisfactory. The target is ten weeks but it is now 12 weeks, which is above that. However, the idea that we have not addressed it is absurd and ignores what I said in my reply. Last year, the RSA recruited 52 driver testers and a further 14 are undergoing training. It will recruit an additional eight driver testers in March. Including the 14 driver testers currently being trained there are now 151 driver testers available for deployment and this provides an annual capacity of 260,000 driving tests. We are addressing this issue, and we are addressing it in the light of the Clancy amendment as well. We are well aware of it and aggressive action has been taken by the RSA, with my approval.