Minister for backlogs wrong on trailer tests in NI: Buckley

DUP Upper Bann MLA Jonathan Buckley has criticised the Minister for Infrastructure Nichola Mallon for failing to scrap trailer tests in Northern Ireland in line the new policy in Great Britain.

By Jonathan Buckley MLA

Upper Bann

View Profile

As a result of the changes - which came into force in England, Scotland or Wales on Thursday - anyone who passed their driving test from 1 January 1997 will be permitted to tow a trailer with a maximum weight of 3,500kg.

Commenting, Mr Buckley said:

‘‘It is deeply disappointing that changes to trailer testing elsewhere in the United Kingdom have not been replicated in Northern Ireland. As a result, motorists across our Province are now at a significant disadvantage compared to those with equivalent driving skills and experience in Great Britain.

I am mystified that the Minister is happy to promote this inequality. It seems perverse that someone with a driving licence in Scotland or Wales may be able to tow a trailer in Northern Ireland without the need to undergo any further testing whilst someone who lives and works here will not.

Mitigations have been put in place in England, Scotland and Wales in conjunction with these changes. Specifically, those intending to tow a trailer are advised to complete training. This guidance is something that could be easily adopted in Northern Ireland too.

Removing the need for trailer tests would ultimately free up more examiners to help meet the backlog in driver and vehicle testing. This in turn would assist in minimising unnecessary costs faced by individuals and businesses as a result of preventable delays.

It is critical that every practical tool at the disposal of the NI Executive is harnessed to support the recovery from Covid-19.

I urge the Minister to rethink her position on trailer testing and commit to ensuring drivers in Northern Ireland receive a fair deal.’’

Become a Supporter

  • ${ error }
  • ${ error }
  • ${ error }

We’ll email you about campaigns, events and opportunities to get involved.
Find out more about how we use your information.