DVSA will assess Civic Centre as possible test centre in Whitchurch

The DVSA has agreed to look at Whitchurch Civic Centre as a base for a test centre.

Helen Morgan MP at the test centre
Helen Morgan MP at the test centre

North Shropshire MP, Helen Morgan, wrote to DVSA Chief Executive Loveday Ryday and Roads Minister Baroness Vere last week calling for progress to be made after the town's test centre closed.

She says there is now to be a detailed assessment of the Civic Centre, which the town council has offered for use as a base.

The MP said: “It is good to see signs of progress finally being made and hopefully this will lead to a test centre reopening as soon as possible.

“I will continue to liaise closely with the DVSA and the Department for Transport to press for a solution. It is crucial that one is found quickly as the lack of public transport options in the area means constituents in North Shropshire are forced to rely on cars.

“The Government has shown no signs of levelling up bus and train transport in rural communities and restricting access to driving test centres only makes the situation worse for people who need to travel to access jobs.”

In her letter to the DVSA and Department for Transport, Mrs Morgan pointed out that at the time of checking there were only five tests available in the surrounding areas for the rest of 2022, with none of these available to book in Oswestry, Shrewsbury or Telford.

“Reopening the Whitchurch site, at no cost to the DVSA, would help to alleviate this severe shortage in our car-dependent constituency and surely represent good value for the DVSA.”

The MP campaigned with a community action group to keep the test site open after the decision was announced in January.

"The closure was announced without consultation and means that learner drivers have to travel at least 14 miles to access a driving test - and that is only if they are able to book one due to the long delays for available appointments."

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