North Galway needs a dedicated driving licence centre


A new driving licence centre is needed to serve North and East Galway, according to local TD Paul Connaughton, who said that it is unreasonable to expect motorists from north eastern parts of the county to travel a round trip of over 50 miles to get their licences renewed.
‘Motorists in north east Galway need a new National Driving Licence Service centre. It is unreasonable to expect people from Dunmore or Moylough to travel a round trip of over 50 miles to have their licences renewed. I have also spoken to many motorists who dread having to make the trip to the NDLS centre in Ballybrit, they are unfamiliar with the area and there have been many reports of the centre being difficult to find and also there is no real alternative in terms of public transport. For some elderly people this journey is simply a nightmare.
‘There are also problems with waiting times at the centre in Ballybrit. I was recently contacted by a young man who had a job offer and who had to produce his driving licence in 48 hours. He discovered that his driving licence was out of date and was told that the waiting time in Galway City was four weeks. This is an unacceptable delay, having a valid driving licence is a requirement of many jobs and people cannot wait such an inordinate length to have licences renewed. The young man in question had to travel from East Galway to Ennis to get his licence, which underlines the fact that the current situation cannot be allowed to continue.
‘I don’t believe that it’s reasonable to ask anyone to make a round trip of 50 miles to renew a driving licence. A new NDLS centre in north east Galway would make the renewal of driving licences much simpler. There is a part-time office in the Station House Hotel in Clifden serving the west of the County and ensuring that the people of west Galway have an option other than making the 100 mile round trip to Ballybrit.
‘An office in north east Galway, even one operating on a part-time basis, would take the pressure off the existing office in Ballybrit, where motorists are facing delays in getting an appointment, and would make the process of renewing a driving licence easier for people in a vast region of north and east Galway.
‘People shouldn’t have to take a day off work and travel to the city to get a driving licence renewed. I understand the need for security in terms of issuing driving licences but a small office in north east Galway serving a wide rural hinterland would have the dual benefits of bringing the service nearer to a large population and removing some of the pressure on the Galway office.
‘I have written to Minister Paschal Donohue about this matter and will continue to highlight this issue to him in coming months. People in rural areas need equality when it comes to service provision and this is a case where a simple change can make a significant difference for rural motorists.’