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Hope for shorter driving test waiting times at Trowbridge and Westbury

August 8, 2017 10:02 AM

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the government agency responsible for delivering driving tests, has announced a full review into driver testing provision for Trowbridge and Westbury Driving Test Centres (DTCs) and their surrounding areas.

Richard Hennessy, DVSA Director of Operations (South), stated " It's a priority for me to ensure we provide our customers with an appointment that is convenient to them.After looking at customer demand for driving tests at Trowbridge and Westbury DTCs, I have commissioned a full review into the testing provision for the sites in question, and the surrounding areas. The review will look at customer demand from in and around the area, the route suitability and what capacity we have, in the surrounding centres. A thorough review will take a little time to complete since is essential that we continually assess our service provision to ensure we offer our customers the level of service they have every right to expect, and we would wish to provide." He went on to explain "The aim of the review is provide a detailed study of the current testing provision for customers in Trowbridge, Westbury and the surrounding areas, which will include looking at customer behaviour and preferences, for test availability and location. I see no reason why this would result in a diminished level of testing for our customers in these areas".

Gary Fossey of Shamrock Driving School, leader of the successful campaign to reinstate driver testing in the Trowbridge area and a key figure in the nationwide 2016 campaign to reduce excessive driving test waiting times said "Since the welcome return in 2011 of driver testing from Longfield Community Centre in Trowbridge and Leighton Recreation Centre in Westbury, waiting times have regularly been 12 weeks or more at both. This is as the result of DVSA only undertaking driving tests two days a week and refusing to deploy more than two examiners at each, in spite of obviously high demand which DVSA now acknowledge and are acting upon by undertaking this review. For several years, we have been campaigning for additional examiners and testing days at Trowbridge and Westbury DTCs. We are thankful for this review and trust it will result in waiting times at DTCs in the Trowbridge, Westbury and surrounding areas being more in line with other DTCs in the South West and East of England where, in June 2017, 88% of customers were allocated a test within 6 weeks of their preferred date."

Driving instructor Steve Dayman-Johns, based in Westbury, said "DVSA could cut waiting times to take a test at Trowbridge and Westbury DTCs by a third if they just brought in an extra examiner. As waiting times for a test in Salisbury are around 4 weeks and Chippenham a couple of weeks more, examiners could be deployed from these DTCs to reduce the excessive waiting times at Trowbridge and Westbury, all but free of charge. Examiners are not paid for every test, they are on a salary. For the sake of up to week extra wait at Salisbury or Chippenham, an examiner could come to Trowbridge and Westbury reducing waiting times by at least a month. I think this is only fair since everyone pays the same for a driving test, so why should they have to wait so much longer for it?"