Is Infrastructure Minister acting on party colleagues demands to tackle MOT backlog?

DUP MLA Keith Buchanan has urged the Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd to look again at how the MOT backlog can be reduced. He has also questioned whether the Minister has acted on Sinn Fein demands that the previous Minister work with DVLA to address penalties issued to motorists who have not been able to tax their car because they have not been able to secure an MOT appointment.

By Keith Buchanan MLA

Mid Ulster

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The Mid Ulster MLA said, “The backlog in MOT tests has been causing huge problems for motorists over the last year. With some unable to tax their car, and a three-stage process for people in need of a test there are still significant problems for the Minister to deal with.

It would be wrong not to acknowledge the progress that has been made in terms of an increase in tests, but many people are not yet noticing any impact from that.

It isn’t acceptable for people to be faced with a wait of four or five months for an MOT test, particularly when they could be impacted by either issues relating to the tax or insurance status of the car because of their inability to secure a test certificate.

In January multiple Sinn Fein MLAs were demanding the then Minister work with the DVLA to address these “unfair penalties”. Just a few days ago Sinn Fein MLA Liz Kimmons was demanding that more be done in relation to increased testing capacity. It would be very useful to know what action the Minister is taking in relation to these criticisms from his own party colleagues.

The Minister could look at issues such as the notification period issued to drivers before their MOT expires, but it would be very useful to see if he has acted on the calls from his party colleagues issued just a few months ago.”

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