McNamara criticises delay in delivering second Clare NCT centre

Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara has criticised the “inordinate delay” in delivering a second NCT centre for County Clare.

With motorists in Clare currently face facing a six-month wait for an appointment to get their car tested, Deputy McNamara said the need for a second centre is greater than ever.

In response to a Parliamentary Question from Deputy McNamara on the proposed development of a centre in Shannon, the Road Safety Authority confirmed negotiations are underway currently regarding the development of a centre in the Shannon area and due to their commercial sensitivity, the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) does not wish to comment until contracts are finalised.

He said, “In May 2021, the NCTS informed me it was on schedule to open an NCT Centre at the Smithstown Industrial Estate, but this was subsequently halted due to significant contractual difficulties. What was particularly disappointing was the fact that construction work on the new centre had already commenced, including the erecting of the centre’s steel structure, and it was expected that the centre would be operational by the end of 2021.”

“Separately I have learned that another property-owner in Clare found the NCTS difficult to deal with to the extent that he withdrew his expression of interest,” McNamara explained. “However, as always In Ireland, there’s little or no accountability for any failings by State agencies and it’s ordinary people who suffer,” McNamara said.

“It appears that little progress has been made in the intervening 18 months and this inordinate delay is resulting in growing waiting times for motorists in the county,” added Deputy McNamara. “The NCTS needs to explore all possible avenues for the development of a second centre in the county, including in West Clare.”

“I have previously requested the NCTS to review the potential for a centre in Kilrush to accommodate thousands of people in the west of the county who face much longer than average journey times to an NCT centre. The NCTS has confirmed to me that the patterns of demand for testing and the need for test facilities in Clare will be kept under constant review by NCTS. I will continue to make representations on the matter,” concluded Deputy McNamara.