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Kerry drivers face ‘scandalous’ wait for driving test

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THERE has been a call for the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to intervene to reduce waiting times for Kerry drivers in line for a driving test.

Kerry Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil has said that people are waiting inordinate amounts of time to access a driving test, and called on the Department of Transport and the Road Safety Authority stepped in to deliver a speedier and more efficient service.

The RSA, the national body charged with administering the driving test, states that the average wait time for a test at the Tralee Centre is 13.6 weeks. “However, this has been disputed by members of staff working in the centre who claim that the average wait time is now in excess of 27 weeks – well over six months,” said Deputy Brassil.

“This is a scandalous amount of time to be waiting just to get a driving test. This is affecting those who are paying crazy insurance prices, and who, if they pass their test, should see a reduction in their premiums.

“Even those who decide to go on the list for cancellations are being forced to wait up to 26 weeks – meaning that there is no hope of getting an ad hoc appointment quickly.”

Kerry is faring worse than most parts of the country, with certain counties having wait times of just 16 weeks. “The Department of Transport must step in and direct the RSA to increase the number of testers operating in the Tralee Test Centre to bring down the average waiting time,” said Deputy Brassil.

“I firmly believe that no one should be waiting longer than 12 weeks to secure a test time. It’s unfair and costing motorists with increased premiums.”

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One way traffic system mooted for St Oliver’s National School

The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School. The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other […]

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The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School.

The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other statutory bodie. It is  understood that the system will be trialled at the beginning of the new school year in September.

The area is subject to serious traffic congestion during school drop-off and pick-up times every day.

Over 650 pupils and 80 staff attend the school every day. New housing developments in the area have added to traffic congestion.

Cllr Martin Grady has being pushing for enhanced road safety measures at the school since his co-option to the council in September 2023.

“The issue has worsened in recent years with Woodlawn, Rookery Road and Ballycasheen having more domestic property developments which brings with it more road activity,” Grady told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I’ve seen first-hand several accidents occur when dropping and collecting my children from the school. It needs a safe solution by means of a drop off- pick up point or a traffic management system put in place.

“It is unfair on all stakeholders involved. I will keep working on this until results are achieved in the interest of everyone’s safety. “

The lack of urban school bus services, not just at St Oliver’s but at all schools is adding to Killarney’s traffic woes.

“I would like to see school bus services return for all students, in both urban and rural schools, this service was a massive loss, it would greatly reduce the volume of traffic on our roads and mitigate the risk of accidents and near misses,” added Cllr Grady.

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Planning rules “nonsensical in a housing crisis” Cllr Healy-Rae

A planning rule which prevents people from building houses on their own land next to major roads is being challenged by Cllr Maura Healy Rae. The current planning policy states […]

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A planning rule which prevents people from building houses on their own land next to major roads is being challenged by Cllr Maura Healy Rae.

The current planning policy states that any application house along national primary and national secondary roadways exiting from existing entrances will not be considered.
Healy-Rae says this problem is particularly acute in the Killarney Municipal District given the amount of national roadway surrounding the area with the N22, N71 and N72.
“It is nonsensical that where an individual is living at home and using an existing entrance, can’t be considered to build their own house and use existing entrance they are already using,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.
“How Transport Infrastructure Ireland can quantify this as additional traffic is preposterous. Given we are in a housing crisis, given all the challenges surrounding planning, given exorbitant house prices and the lack of affordable housing, it is ludicrous that this is a reason people are being refused planning.”
She called on Kerry County Council to write to the TII, the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Local Government requesting that the current blanket policy be lifted.
“It [the policy] has directly resulted in numerous planning applications being refused and even considered at the pre-planning stage,” she added.
Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae has also raised the issue in Dáil Éireann.

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