Road Safety Minister Mike Penning has announced that the trial into utilising local authority buildings, hotels or leisure centres as driving test centres, may be extended to Kidderminster. The news comes three years after the test centre in Castle Road, Kidderminster, was closed down despite 1,800 people signing a petition against the closure. For the last three years learner drivers have had to go to an out of town test centre to try and pass their test before getting a vehicle and protecting it with cheap car insurance.
This is a welcome announcement for all driving instructors, learner drivers and the rest of the community who have been backing the campaign since the closure. MP Mark Garnier also backed the campaign and his work demonstrated how an effective MP supported in Westminster by a listening Government can help to get decisions changed.
The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) is trying the scheme at eight locations throughout the country and they also have plans to extend it to five more areas. Other towns in Worcestershire being considered are Droitwich and Bromsgrove, and the DSA are actively attempting to identify suitable test routes and premises in these towns to bring about a positive decision.
Mr Penning said: “We have to be more flexible and innovative in delivering driving tests to make sure that we are offering people the best service possible wherever they live and I am delighted that these first trials have proved successful. We are now extending the trial so that more candidates will be able to benefit from a service that is convenient as well as being cost effective. There was huge upset at the closure of Kidderminster’s test centre by the previous Labour Government, and the campaign was supported by many instructors and pupils from across the county.”