Plans to take driving tests closer to candidates

Posted in: News.

Driving tests in Ashford are being evaluated as part of a national
trial that aims to provide a more local service for candidates.

As well as using conventional driving test centres, the Driving
Standards Agency (DSA) wants to explore how it can also use other venues
to deliver tests, such as local authority buildings, leisure centres or

The former driving test centre in Ashford closed earlier this year
when DSA’s occupancy agreement came to an end, but since then DSA has
been delivering practical driving tests from the Holiday Inn on
Canterbury Road. In the coming weeks testing will move to Ashford
Borough Council’s Civic Centre on Tannery Lane.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said:

“I want us 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.

“Our aim is to provide a more local service that is both convenient for candidates and cost effective.”

DSA is now planning similar trials in six other locations across
England, Scotland and Wales that do not currently have a local test
centre but still have a significant demand for tests. The aim is to
provide a service for the local community and ensure that candidates can
take their test at a convenient location.

The trials will be monitored to assess any impact on levels of
customer service and the cost of delivery, as well as making sure the
integrity of the test is maintained.

DSA will then decide whether the trials can be rolled out to other
areas without a local test centre where there is a significant demand,
as well as suitable test routes and venues.

The trials will only involve practical car tests; theory test centres will not be affected.

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