Road safety chiefs make shock admission over NCT tests while humbly apologizing to motorists
The Road Safety Board has apologized to motorists after they admitted they are struggling to keep up with demand for NCT tests.
Around 375,000 cars are currently on the road without the required safety certificate.
The apology comes as a Fianna Fail TD raised questions about how the company in charge of the NCT program is treating its employees after they canceled their Christmas party and instead gave workers €10 for lunch.
The Oireachtas Transport Committee heard today from the Transportation Safety Authority and Applus – the company that has been given government control to conduct NCT tests.
At the meeting, RSA CEO Sam Waide issued a public apology.
He also confessed that they are struggling to catch up large backlogs on both NCTs and driving tests.
There are currently 375,000 cars on the road without NCT and people will have to wait until September to get a test if they try to sign up today.
49,105 learner drivers are also waiting for their test, but are being held up by a lack of staff.
The RSA Chief said: “As CEO of the RSA, I want to acknowledge the frustration and confusion that customers have experienced due to the delays in securing an exam appointment for the Driving Test Service and the National Car Test Service.
“I would like to apologize to the customers for this.”
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Applus Ireland boss Mark Synnott told the committee they were forced to recruit abroad, with 65 testers brought in from Spain and the Philippines.
About 113 inspectors left the company last year, 26 for professional reasons and 24 for better pay.
The company currently has just over 600 inspectors and is looking to recruit 30 more through campaigns in the UK, Spain and the Philippines.
Fianna Fail’s James O’Connor questioned why the company pays between €35,000 and €42,000 when mechanics in workshops can earn €50,000.
He also questioned how the company is treating its employees after they canceled their Christmas party and gave employees a €10 lunch voucher instead.
Deputy O’Connor claimed, “For that price, you wouldn’t walk into a gas station and buy a can and a bottle of Coke.”
Mr Synnott said the company had canceled its Christmas party for financial reasons.
He claimed the company has a “very constructive” relationship with its employees and its union.
The Dail committee also heard that no driver was offered a free test.
This is despite reintroducing a rule that tests should be free if they wait more than 28 days for an appointment.
TDs and Senators have been told up to 50 drivers could get free tests next week due to bank holiday delays.
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/10155038/nct-tests-shock-admission-grovelling-apology-irish-drivers/ Road safety chiefs make shock admission over NCT tests while humbly apologizing to motorists