27/02/2020

New Vehicle Lifts Ordered Amid MoT Crisis

Fifty two new vehicle lifts are to be installed at MoT test centres across Northern Ireland, the Infrastructure Minister has announced.

The £1.8 million order follows the cancellation of thousands of vehicle checks late last month after cracks were identified in the majority of lifts in operation.

Existing Driver & Vehicle Agency funds will be used to foot the cost, with all new lifts to be in use by the end of July.

Minister for Infrastructure Nichola Mallon said the measure will ensure the "swift" return to full capacity for vehicle checks.

In the meantime, drivers on the roads who are covered by a temporary exemption certificate can continue as normal.

Priority appointments for owners of four year old cars, taxis and dealerships will also continue.
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Ms Mallon said the decision to replace the lifts is in line with recommendations from an independent engineering assessment.

"It is clear an inadequate inspection regime and metal fatigue led to this situation," she commented. "I have therefore instructed my officials to put in place an improved equipment replacement cycle and regular robust inspection and maintenance, with an additional layer of independent inspection built into the new contract.

"I appreciate that this has been a difficult time for both customers and staff and the DVA sincerely apologises to all those affected.

"While these steps will return test centres to full capacity safely and swiftly, the situation has brought to light the need to improve our MOT system and centres and this is something I will be considering in the months ahead."



(JG/CM)

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