Shropshire Star

Whitchurch driving test centre to close leaving learners with 14-mile journey for tests

Angry driving instructors say they will fight a DVSA decision to close Whitchurch's test centre, with the next closest centre 14 miles away.

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The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency says it is closing the centre at Lodge Paul Moss because there are "other nearby centres where the same services can be relocated."

A spokesperson for the Nottingham-based DVSA confirmed that the Whitchurch site is closing after Sunday April 10, 2022.

"We have made the decision to close the Whitchurch driving test centre, as there are other nearby centres where the same services can be relocated," said the spokesperson.

“We understand this change may cause an inconvenience for some, but we have worked hard to ensure that there is no change in the number of tests provided to local candidates, and no tests were lost as a result of the closure.”

The next test centre closest to Whitchurch is at Crewe, 14 miles away. This centre provides the same type of tests as the centre that is closing.

Ron Ingall wants to fight the closure

Veteran Whitchurch driving instructor Ron Ingall, who has been teaching learner drivers for 47 years, said plans are being drawn up to fight the proposal.

Mr Ingall, who chairs the Whitchurch and District Association of Professional Driving Instructors, said: "There was no warning, no consultation, just a text message saying they are closing eight test centres, including Whitchurch, and that candidates will be notified.

"They have attempted to close it twice before and now they don't care."

He added that driving instructors are plotting a campaign and hope to draft in the support of local MP Helen Morgan.

"This is not a high pay area and now people will have to spend an hour getting to and from another test centre. They do about seven tests each day, have an examiner visit four days a week and there is a waiting list for tests.

"It's another sign of how the Government treats people."

The DVSA pointed out that no HGV or motorcycle tests are conducted at Whitchurch and that no tests have been cancelled or lost as a result of these changes.

Driving examiners will be re-deployed to other surrounding centres, and they will continue to provide the same number of tests as they have previously. There have been no job losses as a result of the closure.