Long waits for Kerry learner driv­ers


The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By STEPHEN FERNANE

LAT­EST Na­tional Safety Au­thor­ity (RSA) fig­ures show av­er­age wait­ing times for driv­ing tests in Kil­lar­ney and Tralee is 14 and 16 weeks re­spec­tively.

How­ever, the afore­said cen­tres rank among the worst in the coun­try when it comes to ‘Long­est Wait Time’ with Tralee in joint top spot on 25 weeks, and Kil­lar­ney in joint third on 23 weeks.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae lam­basted the fig­ures call­ing them an ‘in­sult to young driv­ers’. In a re­cent par­lia­men­tary ques­tion, the Kil­gar­van Deputy called on Min­is­ter for Trans­port, Shane Ross, to make the Kerry fig­ures avail­able and to act to re­duce the times, cit­ing them as ‘un­ac­cept­able and ridicu­lous’.

“There should not be wait­ing times this high in Kerry,” the deputy told The Ker­ry­man. “They need to put more re­sources into it and get the job done. The de­lays are an in­sult to young peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly in ru­ral ar­eas where they need their li­cense in or­der to get to col­lege or work.”

Mr Healy-Rae added that two main cen­tres serv­ing the en­tire county was no longer good enough and that a more hands-on ap­proach is needed. The county’s main driver test cen­tres are in Tralee and Kil­lar­ney with 1,319 peo­ple cur­rently wait­ing to take a test, Tralee (660) and Kil­lar­ney (659). In July 2017 the RSA said there were two driver testers in Tralee and two in Kil­lar­ney, but these testers were also con­duct­ing driv­ing tests in other cen­tres around the county.

“They should be work­ing day and night and week­ends to clear this back­log. Why don’t they go at it in the same way that some­one in the pri­vate sec­tor would? They need to go at it and don’t be mak­ing fools out of young peo­ple who are try­ing to abide by the law. All they want is to be able to get to work and col­lege. I think they are be­ing badly let down,” he added. The av­er­age wait­ing times are for cat­e­gory B tests.

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