Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland drivers urged to attend MoT appointments to clear backlog

Drivers have been urged to ensure they attend scheduled MoT appointments to help clear the backlog for tests.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that a number of MoT centres in Northern Ireland are to start accepting Sunday appointments in order to cut waiting times for drivers.

Many motorists have found themselves unable to secure an appointment until after the expiration of their current MoTs, with some waiting up to 47 days.

The Driver and Vehicle Agency said an increase of around 15,000 applications for tests in the first three months of this year is one reason for the long waiting lists.

SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan said he wrote to the Department for Infrastructure to request a "grace period", along with the PSNI, for drivers without an MoT certificate due to the delays.

This proposal was refused, however, with DfI highlighting that 644 drivers failed to attend scheduled appointments in the week of 10-16 June.

Mr Durkan urged drivers to ensure they attend scheduled appointments.

“The unprecedented demand in applications has left many waiting weeks for an appointment- the negative impact on people’s lives and livelihoods of these delays could be huge and I pressed upon the Department and DVA, the importance of minimising this impact," he said.

“They have since assured me that measures are in place to tackle the backlog; including the recruitment of additional staff and of preparations currently underway for Sunday appointments throughout July and August.

“Evidently, the Department have taken the required action albeit belated; I only hope it will be sufficient to tackle the backlog head on.

"The public must now ensure attendance at their scheduled appointments, or if this is not possible, contact DVA beforehand to cancel and free up slots for others.”

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