Road Safety Authority will not make a special case for Inishowen test centre

Inishowen recently had the longest waiting list in Ireland for a driving test – but the RSA chief today seemed to rule out specifically targeting the peninsula’s backlog.

Donegal Now revealed nearly two weeks ago that Inishowen’s only test centre, which is in Buncrana, had a waiting time of 25 weeks, making it the worst in Ireland, according to the latest RSA figures.

The Road Safety Authority’s chief executive Moyagh Murdock today apologised to Inishowen and pledged that RSA will be “blitzing Buncrana” – but she declined to outline a specific plan for the area and said no additional testers will be back there until the end of this month.

She also stated that “we cannot give special attention to one area”.

Roads RSA chief Moyagh Murdock RSA chief Moyagh Murdock.

Ms Murdock said on local radio: “Buncrana in Inishowen isn’t a hub centre. What we do there is send out driver-testers and we clear out the demand in a blitz.

“We will get to Buncrana in the near future and we will address the long waiting time there. It’s at 19 weeks at the moment and we do apologise for that.”

She added: “We don’t neglect Buncrana. It’s not possible to place a driver-tester in Buncrana permanently because there won’t be work for that driver-tester after a short period of time. That’s how we deal with the smaller rural centres.”

She continued: “A few weeks ago, the waiting time in Buncrana was 25 weeks, but we have brought that down to 19 weeks and we hope to bring it down again in the next weeks, so we are making progress.

“We sent a tester to Buncrana on March 5, 12, 29 and April 2. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to allocate [a driver-tester again] until April 30.

“These efforts will bring the numbers down very rapidly.”

She added: “We are committed to bringing the test times down across the country, but we can’t give one area special attention over another. I can’t start weighing people against each other.”

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