Laois learner drivers wait up to half a year to sit test in Portlaoise

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

learner drivers l plates road safety motoring

Learner drivers in Laois face average waiting time of up to 17 weeks.

Laois Learner drivers face an average waiting time that is nearly two months longer than the official target to sit their driving test while the longest waiting time is six months, according to Road Safety Authority figures.

The average waiting time at the Portlaoise test centre is 17.6 weeks while longest waiting time for Laois drivers is 24 weeks. This is in line with six month rule for first time licence applicants but the RSA says it aims to have a national average waiting time for a test of no longer than 10 weeks. A high number of applicants is to blame.

"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," says the RSA website.

The figures also reveal that Portlaoise applicants than learnders in Offaly and Kildare.

The average wait in Tullamore 12.6 weeks where the longest wait is 19 weeks. In Naas the average wait is 12.1 weeks with the longest waiting time there hitting 18 weeks. The Kilkenny and Carlow centres have similar waiting times to Portlaoise. There are three test centres in Tipperary.

PARENTS OF L-PLATE DRIVERS FACE JAIL

Midlands politician and RENUA Ireland leader John Leahy sharply criticised the waiting times.

‘‘Road safety is a critical issue. Yet we find learner drivers who apply to take the driving test can be left waiting for more than twenty weeks in the country’s National Test Centres. It is appalling that more than 70,000 people who have paid to do tests were waiting for months. Some have been waiting for more than six months," he said.

RENUA Ireland called on the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to sort out the problem.

"Mr Ross must move swiftly to appoint the necessary testers to erase yet another waiting list which has arisen under the sleeping stewardship of this Coalition,” said the party.

RSA WAITING TIMES FOR DRIVER TESTS

Category B car/light van driving

Centre    Average Waiting (Weeks)     Longest Wait Time in (Weeks)
Athlone            16.5                                 20
Ballina             10.3                                 14
Birr                 18.2                                 24
Buncrana         15.8                                 22
Carlow             18.5                                 25
Carrick            14.3                                  21
Castlebar         17.8                                 22
Cavan             15.3                                  24
Churchtown     10.8                                  20
Clifden            16.5                                  20
Clonmel          19.7                                  26
Cork               15.5                                  22
Donegal          18.1                                  24
Dundalk          16.3                                  20
Dungarvan      16.0                                  24
Ennis              14.2                                  19
Finglas            11.2                                  21
Galway           14.7                                   22
Gorey             11.5                                   18
Kilkenny         17.3                                   25
Killarney         19.3                                   21
Kilrush              8.0                                  13
Letterkenny     17.3                                  23
Limerick          11.0                                  24
Longford         14.9                                21
Loughrea         15.6                               26
Mallow             15.0                               22
Monaghan        15.4                               22
Mullingar         15.2                                21
Naas               12.1                                18
Navan             15.4                                21
Nenagh           14.9                                21
Newcastle        19.1                               20
Portlaoise        17.6                                24
Raheny           14.0                                22
Roscommon    18.0                                 21
Shannon         16.4                                18
Skibbereen     17.2                                 22
Sligo              13.2                                 17
Tallaght          10.2                                 18
Thurles           13.8                                 25
Tipperary        16.7                                 27
Tralee             16.9                                 25
Tuam              16.1                                 20
Tullamore        12.6                                 19
Waterford        17.2                                 27
Wexford          14.3                                 26
Wicklow          15.1                                 17