Shropshire Star

'Hurry up' – MP urges DVSA to find replacement site for Whitchurch driving test centre

MP Helen Morgan has called for the DVSA to "hurry up" finding a replacement driving test centre site.

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Driving instructor protest over the closure of Whitchurch Driving Test Centre

The North Shropshire MP has today asked for an urgent meeting with the DVSA to speed up the process of opening a replacement centre in Whitchurch.

It comes after the existing test centre was closed in April of this year, with the town going without one for five months, despite the Civic Centre being offered as a replacement base.

After months of reminders from Ms Morgan and the co-operation of Whitchurch Town Council, which leases the building, the DVSA is yet to carry out a full site assessment of the Civic Centre.

The MP has now written to the DVSA urging them to join her and the town council for a meeting to discuss the issue and to "finally get this sorted for the people of Whitchurch".

Ms Morgan, the Lib Dem MP for North Shropshire, said: “It’s been a frustrating few months since the test centre closed.

"The DVSA needs to show more willing to help us move forward with opening a replacement site.

“It’s been three months since the DVSA carried out an initial assessment but since then they have dragged their heels and slowed the process down despite the efforts of the local community, council and myself to find a solution.

“Meanwhile, learner drivers in North Shropshire are not only facing long waits for tests but also long journeys to take the tests.

“Hopefully my offer will hurry the process up, lead to some overdue action from the DVSA and we can finally get this sorted for the people of Whitchurch.”

The DVSA has said the delay is due to “issues” with the Civic Centre lease, despite the only issue having been resolved – gaining the permission of the landlord.

The landlord is Shropshire Council which has confirmed it is on-board with the plan and the DVSA has been made aware of this.

Learner drivers are currently travelling to Shrewsbury, Crewe, Oswestry or further to take their driving tests.

But learner drivers are having to wait months and travel to up to 70 miles for tests, as a result of the Covid causing a lengthy backlog.

A shortage of examiners is causing a scramble for tests, with Shropshire learners having to wait as long as five months and take their tests as far away as Crewe or Newtown.