Written answers

Thursday, 22 February 2024

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Driver Test

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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110. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will reassess the refusal to consider an additional driving test centre in south Dublin, given that the waiting list in Tallaght has passed 17,000 people and represents more than 10% of the State-wide waiting list; if he accepts that the previous, temporary measures have failed to stem the growth in the backlog, which has more than doubled since he took office; if he has confidence in the RSA's management of the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8529/24]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has statutory responsibility for the National Driver Testing Service and the information requested is held by that agency. I have therefore referred the question, relating to the Tallaght test centre, to the RSA for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.

Regarding driver testing delays more generally, the service has been under significant pressure to meet unprecedented demand. Following a request from the RSA for additional resources, last March my Department gave approval for the recruitment of up to 75 additional driver testers. This brings the current total number of sanctioned driver tester posts to 205, which is more than double the 100 sanctioned testing posts in June 2022.

The first tranche of new recruits was deployed last September and the national average waiting time for invitation to test has been decreasing since then. By the end of 2023 there was an increase of 41 driver testers across the driver testing service, with additional testing capacity deployed to the geographical areas with the longest waiting times and highest demand for tests.

Sanction remains in place for the Authority to increase the number of testers to further alleviate current pressures on the service. My Department is working closely with the Authority to monitor demand and capacity requirements of the driver testing service to ensure it meets the agreed service level of average wait times of 10 weeks, which the Authority expects to achieve by mid-2024.


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