Northern Ireland’s MOT lift failures cost £4M in cancelled tests, report finds

Cracks discovered in 52 out of 55 lifts last year causing significant concerns and disruption at vehicle test centres

Northern Ireland’s MOT lift failures cost £4M in cancelled tests, report finds
A crack in one of the affected lifts in Northern Ireland.

Lift failures at Northern Ireland’s MOT centres that led to the cancellation of thousands of tests last year cost £3.9m, a report has found.

Stormont’s Public Accounts Committee found the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) had not correctly projected the lifespan of the lifts.

The DVA should have been more rigorous with a lift replacement plan, it said.

Committee chairman William Humphrey said: “We find it ironic that an organisation in the business of testing the road-worthiness of vehicles was not able to ensure that its own equipment was being properly maintained.”

Related: Northern Ireland’s Driver and Vehicle Agency faces heavy criticism for MOT lift failures

The recently published report examined the suspension of vehicle testing services due to safety issues.

It followed two reviews commissioned by the minister for infrastructure that were carried out by independent engineers and the Northern Ireland Civil Service’s Internal Audit and Fraud Investigation Services.

Mr Humphrey said it was not the first time that problems had arisen within the DVA, with “long MOT waiting times” during 2019.

He pointed out that the loss of equipment meant the DVA lost about £2.95m worth of income in the 2019-20 year.

Related: Lack of quality control checks widespread despite threat of DVSA sanctions, experts warn

He added: “At the same time, DVA incurred costs of £980,000, primarily due to compensation for cancelled tests and then was required to spend £1.8m to replace 52 out of 55 scissor lifts.

An external review suggested an inadequate inspection regime and metal fatigue led to the situation with the scissor lifts.

The report also found that the DVA was “overly reliant” on a contractor and its maintenance schedule, and relied “too heavily” on a positive equipment survey in 2018, even though the scissor lifts were carrying out significantly more procedures than originally designed.

Related: Tester finds python under bonnet during MOT

Mr Humphrey said: “We are keen to see DVA’s improvements through quarterly progress reports and look forward to the agency providing the service that people in Northern Ireland deserve.

The committee recommends that an estimated life-span of crucial equipment must be determined and a phased replacement programme put in place for all equipment to minimise disruption.

It also calls on the DVA to strengthen its oversight of the contract with Maha, particularly regarding the maintenance regime, and that future relationships with new suppliers are underpinned by contracts that include strong performance and penalty clauses.

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Home Page Forums Northern Ireland’s MOT lift failures cost £4M in cancelled tests, report finds

  • This topic has 3 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 2 weeks ago by Dougal.
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  • #214570 Reply

    Lift failures at Northern Ireland’s MOT centres that led to the cancellation of thousands of tests last year cost £3.9m, a report has found. Stormont’
    [See the full post at: Northern Ireland’s MOT lift failures cost £4M in cancelled tests, report finds]

    #214576 Reply
    Peter Miles
    Guest

    £1.8 million to replace 52 ramps comes out at £34,600 per ramp! That can’t be right unless they’re being done.

    #214579 Reply
    Meat-Head
    Guest

    THIS NEW FORMAT IS PANTS, KEEPS EATING STUFF

    I SAID, THEY NOT MADE THE MONEY NOT LOST IT

    AS FOR ABOVE POST. AGREE BE NICE TO HAVE BREAKDOWNS OF THE BILL
    POSSABLE THE REST TO REMOVE OLD LIFT, THEN DISPOSE COSTS
    LANDFILL TAX, ENVIRONMENTAL TAX, INSURANCE, INSPECTORS TAX

    #214737 Reply
    Dougal
    Guest

    Are we expected to believe that 52 ramps all developed faults simultaneously ?
    They obviously did not. If each failure was dealt with as it occurred there would have been minimal disruption of the service.
    It seems that the growing problems were ignored.
    Sounds like poor management.

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