Driving Tests in the UK

Dear Wera Hobhouse MP

Open  Letter Re: Driving Tests in the UK

Please can I ask that you write to Grant Shapps, MP, Secretary of Sate for Transport on my behalf and send him a copy of this letter.

As the sole Green Councillor at Bath and North East Somerset Council, it has come to my attention that the system for driving tests is presently failing many local residents. From enquiring further into this matter it has become apparent that the driver test system is in fact failing many throughout the whole of the UK . This is of great concern as driving is a skill for business and services and the failure to put in place adequately trained people will mean further low productivity rates in the UK and possible system failure, as we have already seen in terms of the bus and HGV industry.

Presently the current system in place for booking a driving test is clearly not fit for purpose. Trying to book a test is complicated and cumbersome requiring endless checking of each and every day and no obvious system where a learner driver can see what options for tests are available to them. This is a badly designed booking system that needs to be urgently overhauled.

The present booking system only allows people to book 16 weeks in advance and appears to be booked up by private businesses who sell on the tests for profit, in the process misleading learner drivers of the dates available. This means that the average person cannot book a test unless they use a broker at a further charge. It also means that the average instructor taking learners through the system cannot get test bookings for their clients. This results in local driving instructors failing to get clients tested and affects their business.

It is clear that Covid has impacted the test system and this now means that all tests are booked up months in advance. This situation is further compounded by a system which repeatedly notifys learner drivers that they test they have booked is cancelled at the last minute, often the day before. This means that the learner driver has to then go back through an inadequate booking system to locate another date, often again months in advance, if they can even find one.

I recently spoke to a local driving instructor about these issues and was told that six of his clients had recently had their tests cancelled at short notice. There were no further slots available and he now has to begin all over again to get his clients ready for their next test, often months ahead. This has caused him to stop taking on new clients.

Please can I ask that you look urgently into this matter and let me and the many residents in Bath and North East Somerset know what actions are being taken by Government to improve the booking system, clear the backlog and provide a workable infrastructure that supports people learning to drive.

As a Green I am of the firm belief that driving is a necessary skill for many functions vital to our society – driving an ambulance, fire engine, taxi, a bus, delivery van, post etc. The present system is going to negatively affect everyone in the country.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Joanna Wright

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: