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Three month driving test wait for Shropshire learners

Three month driving test wait for Shropshire learners

Driving test waiting times are hitting the headlines in regional newspapers up and down Britain, again. Learner drivers in Shropshire are the latest to be left frustrated by driving test wait times as the DVSA battles against massive backlogs and a shortage of examiners. Book Theory Test Today has the latest…

Driving test wait times across Shropshire are getting longer, with learner drivers across the county having to wait upwards of three months for a practical driving test appointment. The Whitchurch driving test centre has a waiting list spanning 11 weeks, while test venues in Oswestry and Shrewsbury have a backlog stretching 13 weeks.

Chairman of the Driving Association, Ron Ingall, said: “We’ve had a lot of problems. Learner drivers are passing their theory test ready to take the practical exam, but then face huge waiting times, resulting in more driving lessons and further costs.”

Driving test wait times farcical

The wait for driving test appointments has become farcical in recent years, with driving instructors blasting the DVSA for a complete lack of foresight. To combat the problem the DVSA has drafted in examiners to work extra hours and have even sent them back and forth to different areas to tackle severe backlogs.

However, complaints continue to rise as learner drivers accuse the DVSA of adding to the stress and cost of learning to drive. In response, a DVSA spokesperson said that learners could secure a driving test sooner at a centre further away. However, driving instructors argue that the DVSA’s response is simply not good enough.

Mr Jones, who runs a driving school in Oswestry, said: “Learners shouldn’t be waiting weeks on end when they feel they are ready to do a test. They are running up more bills and it is creating more stress.”

Demand for driving tests has increased

Richard Hennessey, the DVSA’s operations director, said: “We acknowledge that many of our customers are waiting too long to take a driving test. Over the past three years, demand

for the driving test has increased by more than 226,000 tests. In 2016/17, there was an increase of 158,000 test applications, which led to longer waiting times in most parts of the country. Reducing car practical test waiting times and maintaining them is a priority for us.”

Since April 2016, the DVSA has recruited an additional 412 examiners, while another recruitment campaign is currently running. Hennessy said: “In the future we will also be exploring how we can offer customers driving tests at a time that is convenient to them, for example in the evening or on the weekend.”

He added: “Candidates may also be able to get a test sooner by looking beyond their nearest test centre – currently nine out of 10 permanent test centres have tests available in the next seven weeks. At the start of August, there were just over 14,300 tests available within the next seven weeks across Great Britain at permanent test centres.”

But for now, it would seem that driving test wait times look set to increase as the DVSA tries to bring in more examiners.

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