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Learner driver in Norfolk? You face a lengthy wait for a driving test

It appears that having to wait for a driving test in the UK is spreading. First Cambridge, now Norfolk. If you’re a learner driver in Norfolk, we’re sorry to tell you that you could be waiting up to 16 weeks for a test.

Book Theory Test Today says: “If you’re a learner driver in Norfolk looking to take your driving test at the Norwich test centre in Thorpe St Andrew, it could be December before you take your DVSA practical driving test.”

Elsewhere, in nearby Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds, learner drivers in Norfolk face a frustrating 15-week wait. In King’s Lynn there’s also a waiting period of 10 weeks.

For Norwich, the waiting times are close to 10 weeks above the national average of 6.7 weeks. Now, personnel at the struggling test centres across Norfolk are being stretched, working longer hours in order to handle the demand while the DVSA tries to recruit new driving examiners.

Driving instructors highlight the problems for a learner driver in Norfolk

Instructors in the Norfolk area have become increasingly fed-up with the situation, saying that the problem has grown worse over the past 12 months. In some cases, a learner driver in Norfolk is forced to take their driving exam in a different location, further away.

Alternatively, they have to spend a fortune on additional driving lessons while waiting for a driving test appointment to become available closer to home.

Founder of Caroline’s Driving School in King’s Lynn, Caroline Simpson, said: “The extreme shortage of driving examiners means that a learner driver in Norfolk could find out their test has been cancelled on the day they’re due to take it.”

She added: “When starting out as a driving instructor in 2002, there was at least a three to four-month wait. However, the waiting times began to decline to what is now the current national average. More recently, the problem has grown worse than I remember.”

She continued: “It’s not just a problem for a learner driver in Norfolk, it’s countrywide. Back on August 6, 2015, two of my students turned up at King’s Lynn test centre to be told that their designated examiners had called in sick and no cover was available.”

She went on to add that frustration among learner drivers in the area is growing because many of them are booking time off just to take the test.

Lengthy waits are now forcing driving instructors to take students further afield. Paul Harmes, who operates a driving school in Norwich, said: “I am taking a student to do their test in Colchester where the waiting list is half of what it is here. Though including the trip there and back it is a five-hour cost for the student, they prefer that to the wait they have here in Norwich.”

Book Theory Test Today says: “For most it’s not the wait, it’s the added cost that every learner driver in Norfolk is facing in order to keep on top of their driving until a test date can be secured.”

Learner driver in Norfolk? Tell us about the frustrations you’re facing.

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Book Theory Test Today offers an intermediary service assisting clients with booking a UK theory test, or practical test, at test centres across the nation. The service also supplies resources to help you prepare for your theory test – Ready to take your theory test? Book your theory test online today…

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