Action needed to avoid 'Minister for Backlogs' title

Chair of the Assembly's Infrastructure Committee Jonathan Buckley has said urgent action must be taken on MOT testing if Nichola Mallon is not to become renowned as the 'Minister for backlogs'.

By Jonathan Buckley MLA

Upper Bann

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This week has seen queues of up to 20,000 people attempting to secure MOT tests and follows similar problems with driving tests.

The Upper Bann MLA said, "The problems faced by customers attempting to secure an MOT test are continuing. Like many other MLAs I have been contacted by a huge number of motorists who are extremely concerned. Whilst the PSNI have announced a more flexible approach for cars without an MOT, prosecution can only be avoided if a test has been booked. Given the ability to get a test booked is a huge problem this will still leave many people faced with the choice of going without their vehicle or facing prosecution.

It is right to ask whether any lessons have been learned within the Department following the huge problems and backlog of driving tests. The Minister initially attempted to claim these didn’t even exist, before finally taking some action to increase supply. The problems faced in relation to both driving tests and MOTs were not unforeseen but warnings appear to have gone unheeded.

Unless Nichola Mallon is to become renowned as the 'Minister for backlogs' then she must finally take decisive action. The delays to issues such as driving tests and MOTs cause problems not just for individuals, but have many knock-on effects for businesses and our wider economy."

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