TWO new driving testers have been hired to deal with a backlog of over 6,500 people waiting for driving tests in Cork city, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has confirmed.
There are 6,554 people waiting for tests in the city, while 10,711 people are waiting for tests across test centres in Mallow, Skibbereen and Killarney - where the maximum waiting time is up to 15 weeks for a driving test. Average wait times in the city are 11.7 weeks - above the RSA’s national targets of 10-week wait times.
The two new testers will bring to nine the number of testers now based at the Cork city test centre.
TD Aindrias Moynihan (FF) has called for more testers to be hired to deal with increasing waiting lists and retest applicants in the south-west region.
"Each of the other Cork test centres [outside the city] has only one tester based in them and it’s clear there is a need for more testers in Cork. I will be continuing to press the Minister to make available additional resources to increase the testing capacity at all the local test centres.
“Many drivers waiting for a test have highlighted their plight with me and in response, I have continued to raise the matter with the Minister and the Taoiseach impressing on them the need to speed up the test availability. While a learner driver will go through the required lessons and travel with a qualified driver, a prolonged waiting period will bring extra pressure to those on the long waiting list.
“The RSA confirmed to me in February indicate that there were only 13 testers based in Cork (7), Killarney (4), Mallow (1) and Skibbereen (1) while there are 10,711 drivers waiting for tests at these centres. The additional two Cork-based testers should mean that extra tests can be conducted and reduce the waiting time for people who have had to wait up to 15 weeks,” he added.
Cork city’s driving test pass rates are among the lowest in the country at just 48%.
The RSA said: “We aim to have a national average waiting time for a driving test of no longer than 10 weeks. Our ability to meet this target depends on the number of applications received. Accordingly, the average waiting time in driving test centres may vary above or below this 10-week target.”