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Driving Tests

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the criteria are for determining driving test centre (a) location, (b) relocation and (c) closure; what (i) primary and (ii) secondary legislation governs such considerations; what changes have been made to each enactment; what recent representations she has received on the location of driving test centres; and if she will make a statement. (207131)

When considering the location, relocation or closure of a driving test centre, the Driving Standards Agency follows the “Code of Practice on Written Consultations—Driving Test Centres”. This is a ministerially agreed document which is available from the DSA website. The current service levels for travelling distance to a practical car driving test centre are:

Population density

Distance criteria

>=1250/km2

No more than 7 miles

101-1249/km2

No more than 20 miles

0-100 km2

No more than 30 miles

The target for practical motorcycle test candidates is that most should be able to reach a multi-purpose driving test centre within 30 to 45 minutes travelling no more than 20 miles.

There is no legislation that governs the location, relocation or closure of driving test centres. These are administrative matters for DSA. The Agency takes account of the views of Ministers when formulating policy on driving test centre location and closures. Since May 2007 DSA has received the following representations on the location of driving test centres:

Two adjournment debates regarding the closures of Trowbridge and Minehead driving test centres.

10 parliamentary questions on driving test centre location since November 2007.

317 letters regarding the future or closure of a driving test centre.