Learner drivers waited an average of 13 weeks for a test last year

Learner drivers waited an average of 13 weeks for a test last year

The number of learner drivers waiting for a driving test increased by more than 26% last year with over 40,000 waiting for an appointment.

That's according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Transport Omnibus for 2017, which revealed that the number of driving tests jumped by 10% in 2017 from 114,399 to 125,867.

However, the number of learner drivers stuck on a waiting list increased by 26.8% last year when compared to 2016 - from 31,549 to just over 40,000. The average waiting time increased from 12 weeks to 13.6 weeks in this period.

A total of 2,866,162 Irish driving licences were held at the end of 2017, of which almost a quarter of a million (246,148) were learner permit licences.

More than 125,000 (125,867) driving tests were conducted in 2017 with an average pass rate of 52.9%.

During 2017, a total of 189,095 penalty point endorsement notices were issued - a decrease of 4.9% on the previous year. Almost seven out of every 10 (67.8%) of the penalty point endorsement notices issued in 2017 were for speeding.

Men incurred more penalty point endorsement notices than women in 2017. Of the 158,267 notices where gender was recorded, men incurred 102,125 (64.5%) while women incurred 56,142 (35.5%).

Women are more likely to incur more penalty point endorsement notices for speeding than men (74.3% vs 65%) whereas men are more likely to incur more notices for holding a mobile phone while driving than women (14.6% vs 11.7%).

A total of 217.6 million passengers were carried on scheduled bus services: 37.6 million passengers travelled on the Luas and 45.5 million passengers travelled by rail in 2017.

The largest number of journeys by users of the bicycle sharing scheme in Dublin was in May when 388,889 journeys were made. For Cork and Galway, the month of October had the most bicycle journeys when 27,865 and 4,514 journeys were made respectively. May was the month when most journeys occurred in Limerick (3,584).

Learner drivers waited an average of 13 weeks for a test last year

The CSO also revealed that the record year for Irish tourism continues apace. At over 8.2m visits, the overall trips made to Ireland increased by 7.1% in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2017.

Visits from Mainland Europe grew by 10% for January to September of this year, while (2.976 million visits) visits from North America increased by 12.9%. The number of visitors from Great Britain increased by 1.1%, while visits from the rest of the world, mostly long-haul and developing markets, were up by 5.3%.

CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, welcomed the increase in visitors but said the "impact of Brexit on outbound travel from Britain remains a concern."

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