A CORK TD has called on the Minister for Transport to take "decisive action" to tackle the growing driving test backlog.
Speaking on this issue, Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said that the Road Safety Authority (RSA) confirmed to him that there are now 6,026 learner drivers waiting for a test in Cork, and over 92,000 people waiting across the State.
“Throughout 2020, we called on Minister Shane Ross and the new Minister Eamon Ryan TD, to address the worsening crisis. Neither took the problem seriously and the situation has now greatly worsened.
“With public transport down to 25% capacity and sharing of lifts not feasible due to Covid, this is causing massive problems for people who need a licence to get to work," Deputy Ó Laoghaire said.
He said waiting lists are particularly bad in Cork.
“There is a clear need for additional driving instructors and testers. Likewise, longer opening hours and weekend tests would go some way to address the lengthening backlog.
“The Minister needs to urgently consult with instructors, testers and their unions to find a way forward to accelerate the number of tests that can be carried out safely over the coming months," he said.
The Driver Theory Test Service is currently providing remote theory tests for bus, truck, CPC and ADI categories, which Deputy Ó Laoghaire described as a "welcome development" but called for it to be expanded to those learning to drive a car.
“Sinn Féin have also called for online driver theory tests to be extended to all categories of learner drivers, to help deal with the growing backlog of those learning to drive," he said.