Request for  Road Safety Authority to build new national test centre in West Clare

Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has today explored the idea of building a new national test centre in west Clare with
the Chief Executive Officer of the Road Safety Authority.

Deputy Carey was in contact with Mr Noel Brett regarding waiting times for NCTs in County Clare and during the course of their exchange (see attached), Deputy Carey put forward the possibility of locating a new test centre in west Clare.

Several new test centres are being built nationwide, yet County Clare is serviced by just one centre.

The current situation with regards NCT waiting times in Ennis is that many car owners who have a test due date of 2010, are finding it difficult to get appointments within 28 days.

There are huge pressures on the system as it presently stands. Routine appointments are also being made further in advance of their normal

Deputy Carey said:

“Many people are having problems getting their cars though the NCT in County Clare in time for their due dates. The new legislation provides for penalties should a car not have a valid NCT displayed. Therefore there is a duty on the RSA to ensure persons can secure a test
date in adequate time. This is not happening at present. 65% of those who have applied for their NCT in Ennis are waiting between 30 and 60 days judging by recent figures for the second week in June.

When I wrote to Mr. Brett outlining this situation, I also looked at the location of test centres by analysing the level of service available in different counties. It strikes me that County Clare could be judged as under serviced in comparison to nearby counties
such as Galway or Cork.

The change in the law whereby it’s now an offence not to display a valid NCT disc coupled with the fact that many motorists are holding on to older cars, has ‘driven up’ demand for tests.

Looking at the list of 62 national test centres it very common for a county to be serviced with two test centres. For example Galway has two test centre in operation with another new centre planned for Ballinasloe. I have asked whether or not the Road Safety Authority have any plans to expand the service in County Clare. It’s a considerable distance from parts of West Clare into Ennis, so therefore in my opinion, the possibility of developing a new test centre in either Miltown Malbay or Kilrush should be explored as such a centre would serve the hinterland of West and North Clare. I would hope for a positive response to my proposal.”