John Lamont is calling on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to reduce driving test waiting times in the Scottish Borders. It follows a response from the UK Government to the MP’s Written Parliamentary Question.
John Lamont has said that the DVSA must prioritise clearing the backlog of driving tests in the Scottish Borders. This comes after the Department for Transport revealed that in test centres such as Duns and Galashiels, learners are waiting twenty-four weeks to sit their test.
Statistics for the other test centres revealed that learners are waiting seventeen weeks in Hawick, sixteen weeks in Peebles, nine weeks in Berwick upon Tweed, and six weeks Kelso to sit their test.
Having a full driving license opens greater education and employment opportunities. Mr Lamont has said that waiting twenty-four weeks to sit the test is completely unacceptable. Without a six-month wait, learners could be well on their way to passing their test and entering a new opportunity in the world of work.
John Lamont recognises the pressures placed on the DVSA by the pandemic. However, as society returns back to normality, people cannot be expected to wait such lengthy periods of time to take their test. Mr Lamont is calling on the UK Government to provide additional support to the Department for Transport to reduce test waiting times for learner drivers in the Scottish Borders.
John Lamont MP said:
“After listening to concerns expressed by many local residents about driving test waiting times in the Scottish Borders, I reached out to the Department for Transport to find out the extent of the problem. After reading their response, it is clear that they have much to do to enable learner drivers to sit their test when they’re ready to take it.
“In test centres such as Duns and Galashiels, learner drivers are waiting six months to take their test. Learners will want to move on with their lives after finishing lessons with their instructor, and this cannot happen if they’re stuck in limbo waiting to take their test.
“Restrictions during the pandemic meant that people could not sit their test for a significant period of time, which is entirely understandable. As a result, the DVSA are now under considerable pressure to book previous cohorts and current learners on to a driving test.
“While I understand these pressures, the situation cannot continue as it is. The UK Government must support the Department for Transport to ensure that this backlog is cleared in the Scottish Borders, or risk even more drivers missing out on the opportunities that come alongside a full driving license.”