A driving instructor claims staffing at the Tromode test centre has been ’cut to the bone’.
Chris Stewart of Mannin Driving School says a shortage of examiners has led to his students’ driving tests being delayed and cancelled.
Last summer, Mr Stewart contacted Isle of Man Newspapers to criticise the time it was taking to process driving tests.
Since we reported his claims, he says that waiting times have improved.
But now he been in touch with us again to say that there remains a problem with a shortage of examiners at the Test Centre.
He said: ’The DoI have cut it to the bone. They don’t seem to be able to get their act together.
’The fact of the matter is that they have been short-staffed for years but just been lucky. But in the last week and a half they’ve had one examiner off sick and another one is on holiday.
’Tests have been cancelled and resheduled - some have been put back four weeks.’
Mr Stewart said there used to be four full-time and three part-time examiners at the Tromode Test Centre but now there is just three full-time and one part time.
He claims the need at least an extra 1.5 examiners - that’s one full-time and one part-time.
In a statement , the Department of Infrastructure said it carries out about 3,100 driving examinations each year and insisted the Test Centre is appropriately staffed to meet this demand.
It said: ’Staff sickness can have an impact on capacity. Efforts are made to fulfil bookings wherever possible, but test slots do sometimes have to be rescheduled or cancelled as a last resort.
’In addition, candidates who request specific dates and time slots for their tests may experience longer waiting times than usual.
’The department continually monitors the delivery of its services, including the arrangements in place at the Test Centre.’
The DoI has a target of 20 working days to process applications. Total waiting time for a driving test is about 10 and a half weeks.