THE Skibbereen driving test centre has the longest waiting time in Ireland, according to figures released this week.
Senator Victor Boyhan (Ind) has described the 26-week wait for people using the Skibbereen centre as ‘an absolute disgrace.’
The senator said he had asked the Road Safety Authority why people have to wait a half-year to get a test in Skibbereen, but the RSA ‘won’t explain anything.’
The organisation’s media department did, however, issue a statement to The Southern Star.
A spokesperson said: ‘The RSA publishes both the average waiting time and longest waiting time for each test centre. The longest waiting time may relate to a very small number of applications, and is not reflective of the waiting time experienced by the majority of applicants at the particular test centre.
‘It is the case that waiting times for driving tests are much longer than we would like them to be, and in that regard, we are recruiting a significant number of driver testers to reduce the waiting times.’
But the RSA said it could not confirm the number of new driver testers until a garda vetting process has been completed. Senator Boyhan said he had raised the issue because he and other public representatives are being ‘swamped’ with complaints.
Nationally, he said, there are 82,862 people on the waiting list for tests and less than 100 driving testers. Of the 83,000 people on the list, 45,000 of them haven’t even been given an appointment.