Local Fianna Fáil TD Brendan Smith has said the six-month wait list for driving tests in Cavan is completely “unacceptable”.
The Cavan-Monaghan TD called for additional driver testers to be allocated to the Cavan Test Centre in a bid to tackle the delays.
Speaking in the Dáil Mr Smith said the long wait times were causing “real difficulties” for local people.
“I have for a considerable length of time been raising the unacceptable delays in getting driving tests in the Cavan Test Centre,” Deputy Smith said.
“These delays have caused real difficulties for people who need to travel for work or to study and impact adversely on rural communities, such as those throughout County Cavan.
“If a person were to book a test in the Cavan Test Centre today, he or she will not receive an invitation for a test until 8 April 2024. And it will be the end of that April before that person takes the test.
“People who booked a test in February and March last are only now receiving notice of their test dates.”
While welcoming the announcement by his party colleague Minister of State, Jack Chambers he emphasised the need to allocate some of those new recruits to the Cavan Centre on a permanent basis.
“Cavan has one tester in some weeks and perhaps two in other weeks. At other times we have no testers at all. That is not acceptable.”
The Tánaiste Micheál Martin, in response, said Minister Chambers is “very conscious” of the issue and that as of Friday 6 October, 29 additional testers have joined the Road Safety Authority and are either employed or in training, while another 13 are lined up for November. The net increase anticipated for the organisation by the end of December is 42 personnel.
Mr Martin said: “However, as the Deputy has said, the current average waiting time for a candidate is 28.5 weeks. That is down from 30.4 weeks but is still far above the accepted target in the service level agreement of ten weeks. Demand is up and continues to go up. There are now 5,000 applications per week. Those are 5,000 people per week applying and looking for driving tests. We have to move on this.”