The absence of a driving licence office in Inishowen has been described as “unfair and unacceptable” and there has been increasing calls for the RSA to locate the service here.
Senator Padraig MacLochlainn recently raised the issue with Minister for Transport Shane Ross and in a response from the Road Safety Authority, it was indicated that 95% of customers are within 50km of an office.
They added they are examining services to examine and develop online and postal options.
Senator MacLochlainn says this isn’t good enough and pointed out how everywhere north of Drumfries falls outside that 50km radius, with Malin Head 77km away. He added how the arguments for a driving licence centre were similar to those a few years ago calling for an NCT centre to be located in the peninsula. This was successful and also overseen by the RSA.
Senator MacLochlainn said if the RSA accepted the argument in relation to distance for the NCT centre, they should do also do so for a driving licence office, adding how there is “always a blindspot when it comes to Inishowen.”
He said people across the peninsula should not have to travel to Letterkenny and back, sometimes on multiple occasions, to obtain their licence or learner permit, stating residents were simply seeking “equality of access.” Senator MacLochlainn pointed out how the driving licence service had previously been located in Carndonagh before being centralised to Letterkenny and said he would continue to pursue the issue.
He said: “They’ve stated they are looking at online and postal options but these too aren’t an option for some. We need a centre here, whether full or part time and I’ll continue to follow this up with the RSA.”