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Driving Tests

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many examiners are employed by the Driving Standards Agency, broken down by Government office region; and what plans he has to increase the number of examiners. [118805]

The 11 Government office regions are covered by five Driving Standards Agency area offices. The number of examiners employed in each area is as follows.

DSA areaGovernment office

regions
Number of

examiners
London and South EastLondon, South East324
Midlands and EasternEastern, East Midlands, West

Midlands
417
Wales and WesternSouth West, Wales271
NorthernNorth West, North East,

Yorkshire and the Humber
371
ScotlandScotland130
Total1,513
The agency has recently recruited over 130 driving examiners and plans to recruit a further 330 over the coming year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the average time taken for a follow-up driving test following an initial failure to pass a test; and if he will make a statement. [118804]

Demand for driving tests has increased from some 1,637,000 in 2002–03 to an estimated 1,746,000 in 2003–04. As a result, the national average waiting time for a practical car driving test has risen to nine weeks, compared with the published target of six weeks. The waiting time applies to all applications for test appointments, irrespective of whether for a first or a subsequent test.To meet the rising demand for driving tests and to reduce waiting times the Driving Standards Agency has recently recruited over 130 driving examiners and plans to recruit 330 more in the coming year.