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DUP Strangford MLA and Chair of the Infrastructure Committee Michelle McIlveen has said there is no justification whatsoever for forcing drivers whose vehicles are undergoing MoT testing to stand outside in the rain without any alternative shelter or seating.

Commenting, she said:

‘‘It is entirely unacceptable that customers attending MoT appointments are being asked to wait outside in the cold without any form of temporary shelter being provided at test centres. The same goes for driving instructors who are having to wait for even longer periods with no access to facilities whilst their clients take their test.

Everyone recognises the importance of practicing social distancing to protect both workers and drivers. However, it doesn’t mean sending elderly or disabled drivers out to fend for themselves against the elements when affordable alternatives are available.

Other settings, including local restaurants, hotels and shops, have been able to put in place appropriate mitigations. Why is it then that the Department for Infrastructure is so ill-equipped?

It is hard to fathom after such a lengthy delay in getting tests up and running why the most basic provisions would be overlooked or ignored.

Ultimately the situation has reached rock bottom and the Minister must step up to address what is another slap in the face for motorists and driving instructors who have already waited so long to get their MoT or see services resumed.’’