Published: July 18, 2016


An island driving instructor has hit out of the Department of Infrastructures claim that it is achieving its goal of a 10-day processing time for driving tests.

Chris Stewart, of Mannin Driving School, said the 10- day turn around is "an absolute load of rubbish" and that The Vehicle and Driving Test Centre, in Tromode, is short staffed and short of resources.

"In my 32 years as a driving instructor I have never known it so badly organised," he said. "You have got to wait three to four weeks before you get a reply and then you have to wait a further four to five weeks for the test so it works out to be a eight or nine week wait. Its a disgrace. I feel sorry for the people up at the Test Centre."

He said the delay has been occurring for around a year and all of his pupils have been affected. "At the end of the day Phil Gawne and the directors are just not backing the Test Centre. They dont care about what [the staff] are doing and they are leaving everyone to do it themselves. I would like to see improvements to start on the administrative side, there needs to be another member of staff. We also need another part-time examiner, or even full-time examiner."

In a statement, the Department of Infrastructure said as of July 1 it has been processing applications received on June 6, making the waiting time 20 working days.

It says the total waiting time for a driving test is around 10 and a half weeks.

Chris comments come after Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne discussed the topic in Tynwald Court last month. He said the Department has been achieving the 10-day waiting time for applications in recent years with "very few exceptions". However, he added that he is aware of the recent delay in processing applications due to a staff resource issue and an "unusual surge" in applications.

The Department of Infrastructure said: "[The waiting time] has grown significantly since the information was provided to the House of Keys [on June 21] and follows a further influx of applications. Historically the department has achieved its target of 10 working days for the processing of applications, with few exceptions. More recently processing times have fluctuated due to a range of issues including increased demand, staff sickness, an inability to fill staff vacancies and other competing demands on the same small group of employees."

The department has plans to introduce additional weekly driving test slots, which they said will have an "immediate reduction" in waiting times, are recruiting for administrative posts and are improving online services.

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