Troy welcomes additional driver and NCT testers to address backlog

Local Fianna Fáil Deputy, Robert Troy, has welcomed the announcement by political party colleague, Minister Jack Chambers, which approves the hiring of 75 additional driver testers by the Road Safety Authority (RSA ), the move aimed at addressing the current backlog in the Driver Testing Service.

The additional 75 testers will bring the potential total number of testers to over 200, in addition to the 30 extra testers who were previously sanctioned in July 2022 and have been fully deployed since the end of March 2023. The recruitment process for the new testers will be conducted through open competition, and the RSA anticipates that the new testers will be trained and ready to work from October of this year.

With the new testers in place, customers can expect to see improvements in their waiting times, and the RSA expects the backlog of applicants to be returned to target customer service levels by the end of the first quarter of 2024. The demand for driving tests has reached unprecedented levels, with applications in 2022 being 28% higher than 2021 levels and 27% up on 2018 pre-Covid-19 pandemic.

"I welcome the announcement of the hiring of an additional 75 driver testers. The current backlog in the Driver Testing Service has caused considerable frustration for many people who need to obtain their driving licence for work, education or other purposes. Many constituents are facing really long delays with driving tests, and this is a positive step by the Government. These additional testers will help to address this backlog and ensure that people across Westmeath can obtain their driving licences in a timely and efficient manner.

"The National Car Testing Service also remains under pressure as high demand for testing and the knock-on impacts of the early 2022 Covid 19-related test backlog exacerbate longer-term staffing shortages.

"It is my understanding that recruitment campaigns are continuing nationally and both within and outside the EU to increase capacity at test centres. I was delighted to hear that over 50 additional non-EU testers are currently going through the visa process and are expected to commence in the coming weeks. Separately, additional administrative staff are also being recruited for NCT centres, to allow NCT testers to maximise their time conducting NCT tests.

"This is a most welcome step forward and is set to help reduce wait times for those looking to book an NCT test for their car," Deputy Troy stated.

 

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