RSA responds to centre closure
Recent rumours about the closing down of a driving test centre in West Cork were labelled as false by the Road Safety Authority this week.
It comes following Independent TD Michael Collins raised the possible downgrading or even closure of Skibbereen Driving Test Centre in the Dáil on Tuesday.
The Skibbereen Driving Test Centre is the main test centre in West Cork, while the other closest centres are in Killarney or Cork city.
Recently rumours have raised the question of whether this service will be closed or downgraded by the end of 2022.
Deputy Michael Collins said: “There are currently 2 testers in the centre, one of which is rumoured to be leaving before Christmas.”
The RSA have responded to the allegations of possible closure by saying: “The Road Safety Authority (RSA) can confirm that there is absolutely no truth to this. The RSA will continue to service the Skibbereen Driving Test centre either via staff headquartered in Skibbereen or from resources based elsewhere such as in Cork etc as demand requires.”
Deputy Collins continued: “I’m not questioning the possible closure of the test centre but rather the downgrading of it which would be just as bad.
“In the last 2 weeks, everyone applying for a driving test has been given a 3 month wait, which is a long time but something we can live with. But as of now, the wait has become six month which is outrageous.”
The catchment for Skibbereen Driving Test Centre consists of much of West Cork from Goleen to Clonakilty.
“If they are going down to one tester, it’s going to mean splitting their time in 2. Someone who was looking to book for January is going to have to start looking at April because of the 50 per cent shortage of staffing.
“My question is, will the test centre be open to the people of Skibbereen and the surrounding area from January 2023 for 5 days a week or will it only be open for one week in a month?”
Deputy Collins brought this to the attention of the Dáil recently.
An Taoiseach Michael Martin responded: “The centre should get a second person. We will talk to the RSA about that. The more critical issue the deputy has raised is whether we can get the tests accelerated. We do not want people to wait that length of time for tests.”
When asked about the centre possibly downgrading to 1 week per month, the RSA said: “There is no basis to the suggestion that there will be any change. The test centre will be open 5 days a usual from January 2023.”