Fermanagh residents are waiting weeks for MOT appointments according to DUP MLA Deborah Erskine.

She says she hears about the issue daily from her constituents. 

Mrs. Erskine was speaking on BBC’s The View in her role as Chair of the Infrastructure Committee about the backlog in MOT testing across Northern Ireland.

Mrs Erskine revealed that she is also waiting for her own MOT test appointment, She said: “I am dealing with constituents day and daily, this is not new that constituents and people in Northern Ireland are having to wait long times to get their MOT tests.”

“I heard the DVA Chief Executive say that 72 days is now the new norm, that should not be the case in Northern Ireland, I would go as far as to say it is longer than 72 days.

“I went online to book online to get my MOT test appointment, no tests available, I went online this week, August, and I clicked in again, no tests available. That is an unacceptable position for people in Northern Ireland.”

She appeared on the programme to discuss issues surrounding a new MOT test centre in Belfast and the backlog in the MOT system.

Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd was speaking on the programme about the news that new equipment for the MOT centre was found to not be fit for purpose.

Mrs Erskine appeared on the programme at a later stage and spoke at length about issues with the new MOT centre.

She referenced an earlier meeting of the Infrastructure Committee on the issue where Minister O’Dowd briefed members.

“The Infrastructure minister did come to the committee and spoke at length to the committee, not just on MOTs but on a whole range of issues. "I raised it with the minister about the new MOT lift cracks that have been found in testing equipment and we did get some information about what is happening at the new test centre."

Responding to a query from presenter Mark Carruthers on how the public will find this information astonishing, Mrs Erskine said: “It is astonishing, it is disappointing, we should be in a place where a test centre should be open and in use and dealing with the backlogs in the system.

“Anyone watching the programme who drives a car will know exactly what the issues are in relation to MOT testing and this is another long list of disappointments when it comes to DVLA testing when it comes to the backlogs that are in the system.”