May 31, 2016
UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour has called for an urgent review of staffing levels at Britain’s driving test centres after it emerged that waiting times for tests were continuing to grow.
And Mrs Seymour claimed the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) was making things even worse by pressing ahead with plans to close yet more test centres.
She said: “The average waiting time for a driving test has now risen to nearly two months. But that is just the tip of the iceberg – at many centres, the waiting time is as much as 12 to 16 weeks.
“In Telford, the nearest base to my constituency office, the earliest date is already towards mid-August. It’s totally unacceptable, and shows that, quite clearly, many driving test centres are no longer sufficiently staffed to cope with the current levels of demand.
“Delays such as this are particularly damaging to young people who often rely on a driving licence to secure a job.
“The situation is forcing young people to book tests several months in advance when they might not be ready, just so they can get a test date on the calendar.”
She added: “I am also hearing of instances where people’s theory examination results have expired as a direct result of the delay in getting a driving test.
“This is all adding unnecessary extra stress to learner drivers, during what can already be a very stressful experience.”
Mrs Seymour said she believed the average wait for a driving test date should be brought down to little more than a month.
“The DVSA claims there is an increase in waiting times for tests, because more people are taking driving lessons now the economy has recovered.
“Why is this upturn not being matched by a rise in staff numbers at test centres to keep pace with demand?
“It is frustrating, and frankly unfair to expect learner drivers to have to wait up to a quarter of a year for a test date, putting their lives and job opportunities on hold simply because of Government cash cuts.”