NFDA-NI ‘disappointed’ with Infrastructure Minister’s measures

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NFDA-NI is disappointed with Northern Ireland’s Infrastructure Minister, John O’Dowd as he introduced one-year temporary exemption certificates (TECs) to some private cars today.

TECs will apply to private cars registered between 1 June 2019 and 31 May 2020 or between 1 June 2017 and 31 May 2018, which have a valid MOT certificate issued by the Driver and Vehicle Agency. TECs will come into effect from 1 June 2024.

Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the NFDA, said: “NFDA-NI is disappointed with the Infrastructure Minister’s announcement today to introduce one-year temporary exemption certificates.

“Whilst NFDA-NI acknowledges the intention of the Minister to assist consumers, we strongly believe this does not address the core capacity issue driving the MOT backlog. Instead, this move will only delay the implementation of a solution even further.

“Consumers, and industry alike are growing increasingly frustrated with the persistent delays in the construction of MOT testing centres in Hydebank and Mallusk.

“NFDA-NI has been vociferous on this issue, highlighting key areas of improvement and holding various meetings with DVA officials. However, unfortunately, the Minister is still yet to meet with us, and we are disappointed that today’s decision has been made without consultation from the wider industry.”

The Minister also confirmed that he will consider launching a public consultation on Biennial MOT testing.

Robinson added: “Today’s TEC announcement and the consideration to move to a Biennial MOT testing regime were both enacted and mooted respectively during the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing a lack of innovative approaches to tackle a chronic problem.

“This announcement will prove detrimental to the safety of vehicles in Northern Ireland as well as its roads and is not the solution to tackling the backlog. We urge the Infrastructure Minister and the department to engage in discussions with key industry stakeholders aimed at improving the current MOT regime.”

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