Some 91,100 applicants are awaiting driving tests. Of these, approximately 25,400 have been given test appointments and a further 15,900 have indicated that they are not available to be tested. The average longest waiting time nationally is some 30 weeks, a reduction of ten weeks relative to the same period in 1999. However, applicants who require a test for urgent reasons are being given earlier appointments. About 24% of applicants are tested within 15 weeks.
Average waiting times have not been compiled for each centre due to limitations in the IT systems involved. However, the tabular statement below sets out the longest waiting time for each centre.
In 1999 an all time record of 154,000 test applications were made to my Department, compared with 118,000 applications in 1997. Applications for the early part of this year are running at 15% above the numbers received in the equivalent period in 1999.