A Fianna Fáil TD has criticised the government for not meeting their target in hiring new driving instructors.
Road Safety Authority (RSA) figures show 52 driving test were instructors hired in 2018 - well short of the target of 67. In 2017, the number of instructors hired was 15.
“The government are failing in their responsibility to bring down driving test waiting times. At present, there is an estimated 29-week waiting time to get a driving test. Despite the urgent need for additional testers the government have missed their own target at the end of 2018 with only 52 instructors hired," said Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy.
“In the two years previous, 13 and 15 instructors were hired in 2016 and 2017. It is clear where this problem originates," he added.
Deputy Troy, who represents the Longford–Westmeath constituency was particularly critical of the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross.
“This is another fine example of Minister Ross and his hands-off approach to his role. It is nigh-on impossible to get around rural Ireland without access to a car. In forcing young people to wait for months on end to get a driver’s licence, this government is denying them access to jobs, educational opportunities, and social links.
“The solution is very simple. Minister Ross must up his game and ensure driving test instructors are hired so we see waiting times reduce,” concluded Deputy Troy.