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Driving Tests

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what population density figure was used to calculate the distance to the nearest acceptable alternative driving test centre, with reference to each driving test centre which (a) has had its closure announced and (b) was considered for closure in the last 24 months; and what geographical or constituency boundary was used to calculate the population density in each case. (240285)

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has population density criteria travel distance contained in its ‘Code of Practice on Written Consultations—Driving Test Centres’, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House. These criteria are applied in considering each test centre closure. They are:

Indicator

Population density

Distance criteria

1

Equal to or greater than 1,250 persons per square kilometre

No more than 7 miles

2

Between 101 and 1,249 persons per square kilometre

No more than 20 miles

3

Equal to or less than 100 persons per square kilometre

No more than 30 miles

The population densities applied are for district or unitary authorities. The population density data are from 2004 supplied by the Office of National Statistics and mapped to cover the 1998 structure of local authorities.

Tables have been placed in the Libraries of the House listing practical test centres relocated or closed by DSA over the past 24 months and those which DSA has announced will be relocating or closing, showing the population density indicator used in the consideration of the closure.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many driving tests were taken, and how many new drivers passed their driving test, in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Stockport metropolitan borough council area and (d) Cheadle constituency in each year since 1997. (241649)

[holding answer 9 December 2008]: The Information placed in the Libraries of the House includes tests conducted by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and by non-DSA driving examiners. DSA does not have a test centre in the Cheadle constituency. No motorcycle tests are conducted in the Stockport metropolitan borough council area.