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DVSA Fails to Find New Home for Motorbike and LGV Test Centre in Shetland

Local training providers for motorbikes and large goods vehicles in Shetland could be forced to close. Training companies have warned that unless the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) finds a new test site soon, they will have no choice but to shut. What’s happening…?

The DVSA has failed to find a new test site for motorcycle and LGV practical tests after being told that it can no longer use the back of the old Anderson High School from March 31. The current practical test site is set to be redeveloped by the Shetland Islands Council, leaving the DVSA without a facility for future tests.

Steve Henry of Shetland Motorbike Training warned that if a solution is not found quickly, he will be forced to shut down his company after 30 years in business. Mr Henry’s comments were echoed by Drive Shetland’s, Petur Petursson, who said he would have to sell off his LGV training truck if the issue is not resolved.

Is there a site in mind for a new Motorbike and LGV test centre in Shetland?

The DVSA is said to have its eye on a new facility off the old North Road near the holiday houses in Decca. Meanwhile, DVSA officials were in Shetland recently in a bid to progress the matter.

Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has also raised the issue, writing to DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn to highlight the ‘shocking’ lack of progress over the issue. The DVSA has been blasted for failing to find a new site, despite the agency knowing that they’d be unable to use the old Anderson High School site since at least 2016.

Motorcycle and LGV practical tests have taken place at the old Anderson High School site for several years. However, Llewellyn has warned that there are very few places in Lerwick where practical tests can be held.

Steve Henry warned that there would be no motorbike training available in Shetland if a new site is not found soon. He said: “If folk have to head south to take a test it would cost around £2,000 to travel.”

In a response to Carmichael’s letter, Llewellyn said: “The DVSA has been putting ‘significant resources’ into finding a new site. Lerwick has been one of our most difficult relocations due to the naturally restricted boundaries and the limited locations from which we can test.”

Carmichael said: “It is shocking that despite over 18 months’ notice that they would have to leave their current site, the DVSA appear to have done nothing to ensure a continuity of service in Shetland.”

“Forcing people to go to Orkney or even Aberdeen for motorcycle or LGV practical tests is an entirely avoidable crisis, and the way it has been handled by the DVSA is totally unsatisfactory.”

A statement from the Shetland Islands Council said: “We’ve been unable to identify suitable SIC-owned sites given the space requirements for the DVSA’s activities.”

Watch this space for developments!

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