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MoT tests suspended in Northern Ireland

Published 28 January 2020

MoT tests in Northern Ireland have been suspended with immediate effect after concerns were raised about the safety of the lifts used to inspect cars and light vehicles.

Drivers with cars booked in for their annual vehicle safety test today have been told not to turn up for their appointment. Instead, they'll automatically be issued an MoT exemption certificate allowing them to continue to drive.

>> MoT Test Results and MoT Advice

However, these cannot be issued for taxis or four-year-old cars having their first MoT test.

The suspension of MoT tests comes after signs of cracking were found in 48 of 55 lifts used at test centres in Northern Ireland. It doesn't apply to heavy goods vehicles or buses, which don't use the ramps.

It's not known how long the suspension will continue, but the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) says it's working hard to minimise disruption, and will be prioritising tests for taxis and four-year-old cars with an imminent MoT expiry date.

While further delays and cancellations are expected, cars issued with an MoT exemption certificate will have their MoT extended for four months. This will allow drivers to tax and continue to use their cars as normal, but they are advised to inform their insurance companies.

“I am aware that some customers are attending for tests and are being turned away," said Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.

"The DVA is continuing to contact customers to cancel tests where necessary and where contact details are available. I have instructed the DVA to ensure that every effort is made to reach customers including by direct contact and through media forums.

“Recognising the disruption caused to people across the north, I have instructed the DVA to pay the maximum amount of compensation that is permissible and to ensure motorists receive their new test at no cost.”


dmo    on 30 January 2020

This issue has now also extended to the South of Ireland NCT test centres, Irish plans are to do all booked tests in 2 parts, current appointments to review those above ground items, then bring the car back at a future date to test ramp related items. Irish rules are first NCT test at 4-years, bi-annual to the age of 10 and then annually from that point forward.

hissingsid    on 30 January 2020

If mainland UK test centres use the same lifts, it will only be a matter of time before the same signs of cracking are discovered. If they are not already doing so, the relevant agencies should carry out an inspection of these lifts before anyone gets hurt.

DLDLDL    on 3 March 2020

How has this happened?

MOT testing is meant to be regulated and surely the regulators check that LOLER is being complied with? Likewise that MOT stations have liability insurance - most insurers require compliance with the likes of LOLER and require certificates of independent inspection.

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)

These Regulations (often abbreviated to LOLER) place duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. This includes all businesses and organisations whose employees use lifting equipment, whether owned by them or not. In most cases, lifting equipment is also work equipment so the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) will also apply (including inspection and maintenance). All lifting operations involving lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner. LOLER also requires that all equipment used for lifting is fit for purpose, appropriate for the task, suitably marked and, in many cases, subject to statutory periodic 'thorough examination'. Records must be kept of all thorough examinations and any defects found must be reported to both the person responsible for the equipment and the relevant enforcing authority.

ref: HSE

Or has the "bonfire of red-tape" made all this "optional" allowing people (in the name of personal freedom) to work under potentially dangerous equipment?

Edited by DLDLDL on 03/03/2020 at 13:20

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