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Following confirmation by the Department for Infrastructure that practical car and lorry driving tests will resume from 1 September, DUP Strangford MLA and Chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Infrastructure Committee Michelle McIlveen said:

This is a welcome but long overdue announcement by the DfI Minister. It is constructive that learners and workers who are reliant on practical tests for their professional development now have this indicative date to work toward. The ramping up of MoT testing is also critical as the economy reopens and more people venture onto our roads.

However, we are mindful that 1 September is still over a month away. The continuing absence of these services is of real concern and has a serious knock-on-effect on the activities of employers like driving instructors, those in the haulage industry and young people. It is regrettable that the Department for Infrastructure’s approach to this and others issues over the course of Covid-19 has failed to deliver a proactive and coherent approach.

Now that this timetable has been made public it is important that the Minister and officials continue to engage in a regular and substantive fashion with those affected, as well the wider public, in order to mitigate further disruption moving forward.’’