Chair of the Assembly's Infrastructure Committee Michelle McIlveen has called on the Minister Nichola Mallon to take control of the driving test backlog in Northern Ireland.
The DUP MLA said, "As people are looking towards the greater relaxation of restrictions, we have already seen a resumption of driving lessons and tests. The Minister's own figures from April indicated a backlog of 22,000 people, but there are also new people coming onto this list every day.
Those attempting to book a test today were faced with queues of up to 11,000 people ahead of them. I also received reports of the system crashing, forcing people to restart the process. This is all indicative of a system under significant strain.
Previous announcements in relation to priority booking for those with theory test certificates were welcome, but this does not appear sufficient to deal with the overall problem. If the Minister is still confident in her plans then she should publish the data in relation to the number of people attempting to access the booking system, the number of tests currently being allocated and the number of customers passing their theory test who are also coming onto the system.
There are young people who are unable to take up employment opportunities because they cannot obtain their driving licence. Delay will only make the situation worse so the Minister should revisit her plan quickly and outline steps to ensure people can obtain a driving test within a reasonable period of time."