New MOT centre at Campsie will help ease long waiting times for tests, says Durkan

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SDLP MLA Mark H. Durkan hopes a new MOT centre at Campsie will go some way towards easing long waiting times for test appointments.

Mr. Durkan welcomed proposals for new centres in Derry and Enniskillen after asking Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd whether there were plans to invest in a new MOT vehicle test centre to improve capacity in the North West region.

Mr. O’Dowd confirmed that the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) was ‘developing proposals for two further new test centres at Campsie and Enniskillen, which includes completing detailed designs, business case approval, submitting planning applications, and preparing tender documentation to enable a procurement process to commence’.

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"It is estimated this work will take approximately six months to complete and my approval to proceed with these proposals will be subject to further consideration and funding availability,” he said.

A mechanic examining a car.A mechanic examining a car.
A mechanic examining a car.
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The SDLP Infrastructure spokesperson said: “I asked the Minister if the department had planned to invest in provision for the North West given the heavier reliance on private vehicles as a result of poorer connectivity and access to public transport in this locality.

"I’m pleased that proposals are being developed for new test centres at Campsie and Enniskillen. I hope this move could facilitate the reintroduction of a fully compliant diesel emissions test for cars and light vehicles.

“I’m acutely aware that new test centres won’t be a panacea and resolving this issue will require a cocktail of measures to include recruiting more staff, biennial testing and expanding timeframes for the online booking system. I hope to work constructively with the Minister to ensure the necessary changes are delivered.”

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Mr. Durkan spoke of ‘significant delays around MOT test appointments’ with ‘a “new normal” of a 72-day wait...bandied about and that’s for the lucky ones – but it isn’t normal’.

“These problems aren't new and while significant effort and investment has been made to increase capacity, problems persist. The number of cars on our roads is growing year on year and the surrounding infrastructure, be that our road network or MOT testing centres, cannot and is not keeping step with mushrooming demand,” he said.

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