Council welcomes plans for replacement Whitchurch driving test centre

Shropshire Council is encouraging residents to get involved with a planning consultation that could see a driving tests return to Whitchurch.

The DVSA has submitted a 'change of use' planning application to accommodate a driving test centre at Whitchurch Civic Centre.

The town has been without a test facility since April last year, when the DVSA closed the centre at The Lodge, on Dodington, as a controversial cost-saving measure.

After months of lobbying, Shropshire Council has welcomed the development that could help ease Covid-19 and driver shortage backlogs that are causing an average of a 17-week wait for learners.

Councillor Ian Nellins, deputy leader of Shropshire Council, said: “We welcome this development as we have been lobbying the DVSA and the Department for Transport to keep a driving test centre in Whitchurch since plans were announced to close the former centre.

“Retaining a test centre in the town will prevent residents of the central and northeast areas of north Shropshire having to take driving tests in other towns, some potentially in other county areas, which isn’t in the best interest of local learner drivers or the driving instructors who serve the local area.

“It will benefit our residents and our businesses, especially our base of well-regarded driving instructors, and will help to retain our base of talented young people in Whitchurch and the surrounding area, helping them into local employment and setting them up for success in life."

The consultation is open until Monday, February 13, and Councillor Nellins is encouraging residents to get involved.

He added: “While we welcome this proposal, it’s important to note that these plans still have to go through the formal planning process before a decision is made, and we encourage people to submit their comments as part of the planning consultation.”

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