Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Questions (59)

Mairéad Farrell


59. Deputy Mairéad Farrell asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there are persons whose driver theory tests have been postponed multiple times; his views on whether this is fair; if a person (details supplied) in such circumstance could be permitted to sit their test at the earliest possible opportunity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38331/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I can assure you that the Department is very aware of the challenges facing the RSA and its contract provider as they work hard to further manage the backlog in the Driver Theory Testing Service.

The gradual re-opening of in-person driver theory test centres commenced on the 8th of June. Test centres reopened and are permitted to conduct 25,000 theory tests monthly.

The centres have extensive COVID-19 measures in place to protect both customers and staff and to ensure the safe delivery of the service.

The in-person Theory Test Services has the ability to gradually increase to 50,000 tests per month over time, if public health guidance permits. As the current guidelines restricts capacity to 25,000 tests per month, this means that there are currently some customers with an appointment for a Theory Test which must be rescheduled to a later date due to the volume restrictions.

During the four weeks up to week commencing 28 June, 29,032 theory tests were scheduled to take place. 22,573 tests were taken and out of those 17,629, passed. It is clear that the service is back up and running. However, the “no show” rate is notable at 4,084 and the failure rate was 4,944.

As you can appreciate, the first priority has to be public safety – we want to provide services, and we know that people are looking for services, but services can only be provided to the limit possible while preserving public health.

Individual cases are a matter for the Authority and the question in relation to this case is being referred to it for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.