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Ireland’s driver testing service slammed as 46,500 people on waiting list

There is a backlog of 31 weeks in Killester in Dublin, 25 weeks in Drogheda in Co Louth, and 18 weeks in Deansgrange/Dún Laoghaire in south Dublin.

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Neil FetrherstonhaughSunday World

Ireland’s driver testing service has been described as “not fit for purpose” as it was revealed that nearly 46,500 people are waiting to sit their driving test.

In some cases, learners are facing waiting times of up to seven months, according to the stats released by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) under the Freedom of Information Act.

A whopping 19 centres around the country have waiting lists of over 12 weeks.

And while almost 14,000 people have appointments scheduled for the coming weeks, nearly 33,000 have no test appointment at all.

There is a backlog of 31 weeks in Killester in Dublin, 25 weeks in Drogheda in Co Louth, and 18 weeks in Deansgrange/Dún Laoghaire in south Dublin.

Three areas have waiting times of 14 weeks: Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim, Togher in Co Cork and Tallaght in Dublin.

The shortest estimated waiting times is Kilrush in Co Clare, at just three weeks.

Dublin driving instructor Ian Daly called for extended hours to clear the backlog.

"People have to take a day off work if they work 9 to 5,” he told Newstalk.

"So if they had the option to do an evening test, or a weekend test of course.

"During the summer with climate change, weather has been much better - obviously it's bright later at night time - it'd be perfect."

Sinn Féin's transport spokesman, Darren O'Rourke, added: “We need to have a fit-for-purpose system of driver training and of licencing.

"And it's clear that, in terms of the testing service, it's not fit for purpose at this time.”


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