Driving test waiting times show '˜discrimination against rural Ireland'

Learner drivers in Inishowen are still waiting more than five months for a driving test, and one councillor has claimed it is 'discrimination against rural Ireland.'

Colr. Nicholas Crossan first raised the matter in January and seven months later the situation has not been resolved.

He said: “The driving tester was in Buncrana this week, and around 30 to 40 tests were completed in that time.

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“The tester will be back again in four weeks – that is just over one test per day in the month period.

“With a 45% to 50% failure rate, not very many people are passing their driving test every month in Inishowen.”

The RSA website said the average waiting time in Buncrana for a driving test is 14.9 weeks, however Colr. Crossan said it is closer to 23 weeks.

“In 2006 we had six testers for the area, now we have two for the whole of Donegal.

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“Someone living in a place with no public transport is depending on passing their test. This is discrimination against people living in rural Ireland.

Colr. Crossan vowed to continue to work alongside independent senator Victor Boyhan to lobby Minister of Transport Shane Ross TD.

He added: “I have been in contact with Senator Boyhan to impress this on the Minister as soon as possible.

“With the cost of a test, it would be cost-effective for the RSA to employ a tester to work out of Buncrana for six months to a year to clear the backlog.

“I have asked Senator Boyhan to ask the Minister to send an additional tester to Inishowen to get rid of this backlog.”