Driving test delays under fire

Driving instructor Bob Fowler is angry over the test delays being faced by pupils.
Driving instructor Bob Fowler is angry over the test delays being faced by pupils.
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Bob Fowler, of Kemnay, is furious that pupils are having to wait 17 weeks and has urged the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to take action to tackle the backlog.

This has been going on for months and the situation is getting worse

Bob Fowler Driving Instructor

The agency insists it is working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

Bob, who runs Bob’s School of Motoring in Kemnay and is also chairman of Inverurie and District Driving Schools Association, said a shortage of examiners was causing the hold-ups for candidates.

He added: “This has been going on for months and the situation is getting worse.

“Pupils are having to wait 17 weeks to get a test date and that is unacceptable.

“We’ve been getting

criticism from some parents about it but there’s nothing that we can do. It’s down to the DVSA.”

Bob, whose association has 23 members, said: “Learners pass their theory and then have to wait months before they can sit a test.

“It’s not good for them or us because how can you prepare them when you don’t have a test date.”

The instructor has also raised concerns that test centres in the North-east could be under threat.

In a reply last year, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, said the DVSA was working hard to implement changes which would ultimately make better use of resources and increase availability of testing staff.

He added that DVSA had no plans, at the time, to close any test centres.

Bob said that local instructors were urging people to contact the DVSA to complain about the situation.

DVSA head of operations Phil Lloyd said: “Demand for driving tests is increasing, and we acknowledge that waiting times are currently higher than we would like in some areas.

“We are working to address this as quickly as possible and will continue to run examiner recruitment campaigns throughout 2016.

“Similar campaigns in 2015 resulted in 181 new examiners starting work at test centres across Great Britain. “We also made offers to another 110 people, who are currently on the new entrant training course or waiting to attend it.”