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Armagh woman warns of MOT booking backlog which could leave drivers going nowhere fast

No appointment in region for six weeks prompts warning to other motorists to act now or remain off the road

Armagh MOT centre DVA

Is your MOT coming up? You may want to think about booking an appointment now.

An Armagh woman is advising people to be aware of a lengthy backlog in appointments, which means you run the risk of being unable to drive while caught up in a ‘traffic jam’ not of their making!

Nicola Veale was shocked to discover that there were no appointments available in the region for the next six weeks!

Speaking to Armagh I, she said: “Initially, I thought four and a half weeks ahead of schedule, like any other time you get an appointment, no problem, but then it came up that there was literally no appointments.

“I tried every test centre in Northern Ireland for the whole of June. The first one I could get in Armagh was July 15th.

“I thought to myself, is the system broken or am I missing something?”

The next day Nicola decided to call the DVA to find out if this was down to a glitch in the system.

But she says she was informed it was due to “cutbacks”.

“I told them that they needed to be telling people that they need to be booking their test as soon as their letter arrives,” explained Nicola.

“They just said that it says urgent on the letter, it’s in a little box in the bottom corner.”

She added: “My MOT is urgent every year as I need my car every year. I just think they need to highlight a bit clearer to the public.

“I booked the appointment for July 15, which would leave me without a car for two weeks, but luckily through refreshing the page I got a cancellation.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure explained that people should act when they receive their correspondence.

The spokesperson told Armagh I : “The reminder letters go out eight or nine weeks in advance.

“Our message is to book straight away. We do encourage people to do this and we promote it through our Twitter and on the NI Direct website.”

There have been calls this week for exemption letters for motorists facing delays of up to eight weeks for an MOT appointment across Northern Ireland.

Drivers in Craigavon have to wait until at least July 26 for a test slot.

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