Pat the Cope Confirms Additional NCT Centre for Donegal
Minister of State for Transport, Pat the Cope Gallagher T.D., today (Monday, 31st July 2006) announced that part of the outcome of the review of the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) includes the recommendation that an additional Test Centre should be located in the Inishowen Peninsula.
NCTS began operating in January 2000 in response to EU legislation, which made a national car test (NCT) compulsory. It operates 43 National Car Test centres across Ireland under a ten-year contract awarded by the Government. It currently has 3 Test Centre locations in Co Donegal (Donegal Town, Letterkenny and Derrybeg).
In April 2005, the Department of Transport commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to manage an independent review of NCTS' performance at the halfway stage of its contract. The review was to evaluate a number of areas including the quality of the service provided, the content of the test, and the location and number of test centres.
The NCTS had met or exceeded the targets set down for the first five years of the contract. Pat the Cope said: "NCTS is measured against a series of stringent standards. The review confirms that after more than 2.5 million tests, all these performance indicators have been met. Over 90 per cent of customers state that they are satisfied with the service and average waiting times are well inside the 14-day target. Minister Cullen has therefore decided that there is no case for radical change in the NCTS contract, which will continue until 2009. However, the review team has made a number of recommendations and the majority of these will be implemented immediately".
The Minister continued, " I am pleased to see that one such recommendation was to include provision of a new test centre at Inishowen. I know that the Company has received expressions of interests from a number of parties to provide premises in Inishowen.
Pat the Cope concluded, "Following this formal announcement, the company will now be in a position to move to review the suitability of these premises. Following selection of the premises the company will provides details of the location and the target opening date, but I expect this process should be concluded some time next year".
Other recommendations included free retests where defective tyres were the only cause of failure at initial test, free provision of registration plate stickers with relevant county name in Irish; relaxing the test in respect of registration plate lights and indicator lamps; and the introduction of an optional pre-payment system for internet bookings. The review team also recommended the creation of a technical advisory forum to include representatives of stakeholders and interested parties.
The full report of the independent review is available on the Department's website: http://www.transport.ie/viewitem.asp?id=7750&lang=ENG&loc=1863