Boylan voices concern over MOT vehicle lift faults.
Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan has expressed concerns following after it was revealed that the use of vehicle lifts at 12 MOT centres has been suspended after faults were identified.
The Newry and Armagh MLA said: “Lift faults identified within MOT centres has raised considerable safety concerns while causing vehicle testing delays across the north.
“We need to ensure that the safety of drivers and those who work in MOT centres is not at risk from these faults.
“I have written to the Minister for Infrastructure to ask what measures are in place to properly address these safety concerns.
“I have also asked the Minister to outline the findings of the necessary MOT fault checks, including the number of appointments impacted, number of defects detected, and how long the affected centres be closed.
“While the inconvenience caused by the delays in vehicle testing are frustrating, safety needs to be the priority concern.”
Updated DVA statement.
in relation to MOT car and light vehicle tests, a Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “DVA is continuing to carry out checks on vehicle lifts in its MOT test centres, following the identification of faults. This is precautionary and to ensure the safety of staff and customers.
“Some checks and repairs have been completed and it is anticipated that remaining inspections will be completed tomorrow and any necessary repairs will be carried out as soon as possible. As and when test centres have been inspected and any necessary repairs completed, they will immediately become operational. Boucher Road, Cookstown and Newbuildings test centres are now fully operational and all MOT tests are being carried out.
“At present, there are limited tests being carried out at most MOT centres and appointments are being rescheduled while inspections and repairs are completed. Mallusk remains the only test centre not carrying out car and light vehicle tests; heavy goods vehicles and bus tests remain unaffected.
“DVA is making every effort to contact customers to reschedule appointments and will prioritise customers who require an immediate test.
“All other test centres remain open and customers should attend their MOT appointment unless contacted by DVA.
“A number of test centres will open on Sunday to provide additional tests.
“DVA sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused. It is working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”
Update Statement from Minister.
STATEMENT FROM INFRASTRUCTURE MINISTER NICHOLA MALLON IN RELATION TO MOT CAR AND LIGHT VEHICLE TESTS
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “I want to assure the public that the safety of all staff and customers is my priority at all MOT centres. In ensuring safety, disruption has been caused to DVA customers. I have instructed officials to work to ensure all MOT centres are fully and safely operational as quickly as possible and that appointments are rescheduled as quickly as possible, with priority given to those customers whose MOT has expired or will expire in coming days.
“Recognising the disruption caused to people across the north, I have acted today to instruct the DVA to urgently work to issue temporary MOT exemptions from Monday for DVA customers affected. This will apply to customers with expired or soon expiring car and light vehicle MOT certificates, who have had appointments cancelled due to the ongoing lift fault inspections and repairs underway. Further information will follow from DVA to customers affected.
“No one whose MOT appointment has been cancelled will have to pay a further fee. I want to assure the public that all customers affected will have a free test plus half of their fee repaid.
“While DVA is working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible I will continue to monitor this situation very carefully.
“As essential repairs are completed, test centres will resume normal operations. In addition, test centres will be opening additional hours this weekend and in the weeks ahead, to ensure customers impacted are rescheduled as soon as possible.
“I recognise that people across Northern Ireland will be concerned at this situation and I want to provide absolute reassurance that I am endeavouring to reach a solution as quickly as possible. I will continue to work in the days ahead to ensure that effort is made to secure staff safety and customer satisfaction. I have asked DVA to improve communications and ensure that members of the public are updated as soon as possible on further developments.
“Any customers with appointments today and in the next few days, should attend their appointment as planned, unless their appointment is cancelled by the DVA.”