Two students from Buncrana who were registered to enrole as freshmen at Ulster University’s Magee campus this term won’t be able to take their places due to driving test waiting lists in the South, according to a member of the Seanad, who has described the situation as an ‘absolute disgrace’.
The matter has been raised in the Seanad by Independent Senator Victor Boyhan, who said he was alerted to the situation during a conversation with a resident of the Inishowen town.
He said lengthy driving test waiting lists were adversely affecting hundreds of third level students and called on both the Roads Safety Authority (RSA) and the southern Transport Minister Shane Ross to address the situation.
“We know that many third level students have returned or are returning to university in a matter of weeks, but the driving test waiting lists are an absolute scandal,” he told fellow senators.
Senator Boyhan said the RSA wrote to him on September 21 confirming Buncrana was among a list of towns throughout the country where people were waiting between 21 and 26 weeks for a driving test.
“It is an unbelievable scandal that people cannot take a test and receive a full licence, particularly those in rural parts of Ireland who wish to access third level education and employment. I was speaking to someone from Buncrana who has two third level students registered to start university in Derry in two weeks’ time, but they cannot go there because of the transport issue.”