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Resources must be provided to clear driving test backlog

23 August, 2006


Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has said the delay in clearing the backlog of people waiting to sit their driving test is having a direct impact on areas of disadvantage and high unemployment. Deputy Crowe went on to call on Transport Minister Martin Cullen to provide adequate resources required to clear the backlog.

He said, "The backlog on the waiting list for the driving test is having a particular impact on areas of disadvantage and high unemployment. A lot of these areas are badly serviced by public transport and some actually have no public transport services. The waiting time for a driving test is making it impossible for many people to afford to insure their cars. All of this is having a direct effect on workers ability to get to work and consequently on the unemployment figures for these areas.

"There are also added difficulties for many people living in border areas who may need to cross the border on their way to work but cannot do so because of stricter conditions for learner drivers.

"Driver testers' union impact has insisted that extra staff are needed to keep pace with the growing demand for driving tests. Sinn Féin believes this is the obvious solution to the problem. However, the cap on public sector staffing is blocking this approach even though it has virtually been ignored in some other Government departments. Therefore I am calling on the Government to lift the cap on public sector staffing and on Minister Cullen to provide adequate resources required to clear the backlog.

"Particular priority needs to be given to areas of high disadvantage and unemployment and border counties." ENDS

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