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Driving Tests (Taking Testing to the Customer)

Volume 542: debated on Tuesday 27 March 2012

Last year I asked the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to consider arrangements for delivering practical car driving tests from premises other than traditional driving test centres such as local authority buildings or leisure centres to provide a more local service for candidates.

Early indications from a limited pilot are encouraging and I am pleased feedback so far has been positive.

I have now asked the agency to further develop the model. Five additional areas have been identified in and/or surrounding: Kettering, Glasgow, Manchester, Worcester and Watford. These will be centred on an existing driving test centre “hub”. They represent a mix of urban and rural locations. Examiners based at the hub will conduct tests from additional satellite locations within the zone. Subject to finding suitable premises and the availability of driving test standard routes I have asked DSA to explore the possibility of providing tests from the following satellite locations:

Kettering—Corby, Market Harborough and Wellingborough

Glasgow—Johnstone, Renfrew, East Kilbride, Cathcart and Bearsden

Manchester—Cheadle, Altrincham, Salford, Middleton, Ashton-under-Lyne and Oldham

Worcestershire—Kidderminster, Droitwich and Bromsgrove

Watford—Hemel Hempstead, Harpenden, Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City.

I am also pleased to announce the publication of a prior information notice in the Official Journal of the European Union for public and private organisations to work in partnership with the DSA to identify and provide locations from which the practical car test could be delivered. DSA will encourage engagement by a wide section of the business community, including retail and hotel groups to provide premises from which the agency could operate.

Tests will continue to be conducted by DSA examiners.