Written Answers. - Driving Tests.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

133 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Transport the number of applicants for driving tests and the average waiting time at each testing centre at the latest date for which figures are available; the plans there are for the provision of additional testers to reduce the backlog; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2754/03]

The most recent statistics on numbers waiting, average waiting times, and longest waiting times for a driving test at each test centre are set out in the following table. The average waiting time is derived having regard to waiting times, ranging from the shortest to the longest, experienced by individual applicants over a particular period at a test centre. The longest waiting time shows the current longest time any individual has had to wait for a test at that test centre.

Of the 108,922 applicants on the waiting list, 31,531 have been scheduled for a test, 9,456 have indicated that they are not available for test and 67,935 are awaiting a test appointment. The current level of applications for the driving test and the resultant backlog is unprecedented. While the capacity of the driving test service to deliver tests has increased significantly in recent years, I am considering, in consultation with the Minister for Finance, what other measures can be taken to enable tests to be offered within the shortest possible time.

Test Centre

Applicants awaiting a Driving Test on 27 January 2003

Average Weeks Waiting

Longest Weeks Waiting

Athlone

1,044

9

17

Ballina

1,115

9

26

Birr

1,041

11

12

Buncrana

450

13

16

Carlow

2,092

20

22

Carrick-on-Shannon

1,004

11

17

Castlebar

1,950

13

21

Cavan

1,768

10

25

Churchtown-Rathgar

9,733

15

28

Clifden

350

10

12

Clonmel

1,747

14

18

Test Centre

Applicants awaiting a Driving Test on 27 January 2003

Average Weeks Waiting

Longest Weeks Waiting

Cork

6,808

10

16

Donegal

847

11

18

Dundalk

2,704

12

17

Dungarvan

1,382

15

18

Ennis

818

9

12

Finglas

8,001

14

15

Galway

2,312

10

15

Gorey

1,711

9

25

Kilkenny

2,253

13

16

Killarney

1,814

11

21

Kilrush

479

12

18

Letterkenny

1,197

11

13

Limerick

3,045

12

18

Longford

970

9

21

Loughrea

1,020

11

14

Mallow

1,982

12

18

Monaghan

1,107

10

19

Mullingar

1,874

9

17

Naas

5,541

12

29

Navan

3,895

15

18

Nenagh

671

19

19

Newcastle West

1,651

10

18

Portlaoise

1,546

13

18

Raheny

6,195

17

18

Roscommon

1,057

11

13

Shannon

859

15

22

Skibbereen

1,579

11

20

Sligo

1,125

10

14

Tallaght

7,982

17

27

Thurles

1,016

15

20

Tipperary

1,029

18

23

Tralee

1,856

10

16

Tuam

1,102

10

13

Tullamore

1,569

9

22

Waterford

3,043

14

22

2266

15

17

Wicklow

2,322

9

27

Total

108,922