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Driving Tests

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 8 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria she uses to determine whether driving centres should be approved for closure. (202361)

[holding answer 29 April 2008]: Decisions regarding the location of individual driving test centres are taken by the Driving Standards Agency.

The agency is a trading fund. As such, it is generally obliged to ensure that its operating costs are met from fee income. It seeks, therefore, to strike a reasonable balance between providing readily accessible driver testing services and the resultant costs that must be passed on to its customers.

In reaching decisions about car practical test centre location, the DSA must take account of the following ministerially agreed guidance on distance criteria at each level of population density:

Population density

Distance criteria

>=1,250/km2

No more than 7 miles

101-1,249/km2

No more than 20 miles

0-100/km2

No more than 30 miles

In respect of motorcycle practical test centre location, the DSA requires that most customers should be able to reach a motorcycle testing facility within 45 minutes, travelling no more than 20 miles.

When considering the closure of a driving test centre, DSA follows the “Code of Practice on Written Consultations—Driving Test Centres” which is available on the DSA's website and was agreed by Ministers.