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Scotland driving test centre closure leaves learners facing 100-mile round trip

The closure of a Scotland driving test centre means learner drives face a 100-mile round trip to take a driving test. Following a spate of recent DVSA driving test centre closures, thousands of UK learner drivers face having to travel miles to sit a driving exam and this is the latest to hit learner drivers in rural Stirlingshire…

Callander driving test centre in rural Stirlingshire will close in May, leaving many learner drivers facing the prospect of having to travel an extra 14 miles to Stirling or 16 miles to Crieff. Meanwhile, learners based in Tyndrum, face a 100-mile round trip as they would have to travel 50 miles each way to take a test.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recently confirmed that the Scotland driving test centre in Callander, based at the McLaren Leisure centre, will close on 23 May, 2019.

Richard Senior, the DVSA’s test centre manager for Stirling, said: “Test routes at Stirling driving test centre mean candidates can be better tested on the new test, helping improve driving skills and making Scottish roads even safer.”

“The temporary driving test centre at Callander only opens for one day each week. Using the nearby test centre at Stirling will provide all candidates with a more extensive service, six days a week,” Senior added.

Driving tests in Callander used to take place on a Tuesday and Thursday, but Tuesday tests were scrapped in December 2018.

Scotland driving test centre closure a blow

Driving instructors in Callander say that the news is a blow for local learner drivers. One instructor said: “The move disadvantages learner drivers in rural areas. I’m hoping to persuade the DVSA to keep the test centre open.”

Meanwhile, local instructor Grant Wallace said that he only found about the closure after spotting a flyer at the Stirling test centre based in St Ninians Road.

Mr Wallace said: “I called the DVSA to ask why, but they couldn’t give me a reason. I never thought it would happen because it’s such a huge catchment area.”

“I take pupils in to Stirling anyway, because I feel it’s an important part of learning to drive. But a lot of pupils do driving lessons during their free periods, but if they have to go to Stirling and back to do it then it doesn’t give them enough time. They would either have to meet me in Stirling or start their lesson in Callander and spend at least 40 minutes travelling to and from Stirling, that’s if we don’t hit any traffic,” Mr Wallace added.

Mr Wallace explained that he would have to put his lesson prices up if the Callander test centre closes because pupils would have to take double lessons.

Martin Earl, councillor for Trossachs and Teith, expressed his concern over the DVSA’s decision to shut the test centre in Callander. He said: “This closure will really disadvantage people learning to drive from across a huge rural area and I would urge a re–think.”

“I’ve never heard of any issues with the tests taken in Callander and I cannot see a reason for this other than saving a bit of money from the one day a week it currently operates. If this closure happens the nearest testing station will be Stirling and people will have to have lessons in that area prior to taking a test there.”

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