Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Ceisteanna (Atógáil) - Questions (Resumed) - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
Driver Test Waiting Lists
Unlike the Minister, I do not concentrate my efforts on my constituency. This is a problem across Ireland. The Minister has selectively identified my local areas but I take my responsibility as transport spokesperson as a responsibility for all of Ireland. I am aware that the Minister concentrates on his own constituency. In Churchtown in his constituency, the longest waiting time last year was 26 weeks. I acknowledge that it has gone down to 15.1 weeks. The average waiting time in Cork is 17.9 weeks, with a longest waiting time of 24 weeks. In Mallow, the average waiting time is 19.2 weeks while in Skibbereen it is 20.2 weeks. There is a problem, regardless of whether the Minister cares to acknowledge it.
I am surprised that the Minister does not know how many additional staff the RSA has recruited. It has recruited 52 but the Minister is unable to say how many additional staff that represents vis-à-vispeople who retired and positions that have not been filled in previous years. The simple fact is that despite the 52 who were recruited last year the problem with waiting times persists. The Minister should introduce a mandatory maximum waiting time of the ten weeks the RSA has indicated.