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MoTs: Officials reveal more than 10,500 tests cancelled

More than 10,500 MoT tests have been cancelled since 21 January, figures from the Department for Infrastructure show.

Some 17,418 checks have however been carried out in the same period.

Most MoT tests for cars and light vehicles in Northern Ireland have been suspended with immediate effect.

The suspension followed an inspection of vehicle lifts in MoT centres that detected "signs of cracking" in 48 out of 55 lifts.

Exemption certificates issued by the DVA are being backdated to 20 January -or from the date of MoT expiry - despite the suspension being brought in on 28 January.

  • Q&A: MoT shambles in Northern Ireland

About one million vehicle tests are carried out by the DVA in Northern Ireland each year.

It was reported the lifts could go into operation as soon as next Wednesday in Belfast and Newbuildings.

'12-week' wait

However, speaking to the News Letter, Stormont Infrastructure Committee member Roy Beggs said the "first batch" of replacement lifts could take about 12 weeks to arrive.

He said the two lifts already being installed had been ordered before the issue of damaged lifts came to light.

Speaking to BBC News NI at Stormont, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said ordering new lifts would take "a number of weeks, absolutely" and for this reason she was examining "interim options".

These include extended opening hours and using the heavy goods lane in the evening to deal with the backlog.

Mrs Mallon moved to reassure workers that there would be no job losses as a result of the situation with MoT tests.

She said the DVA would be meeting with union representatives on Friday evening to discuss extended working times.

She also extended her thanks to workers at MoT centres, and said "they are doing everything that they can to work with me so that we can get everything back to normal as quickly as possible".

Trade union Nipsa said its representatives met with DVA management and "they are content, following assurances, that no jobs are at risk".

Meanwhile, in the Republic of Ireland the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) suspended the use of vehicle lifts used in its testing centres.

The NCTS said it was "recently made aware of a defect with a similar make and model" to its lifts.

Their customers have been advised to continue to book and turn up for tests.

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