Driving Tests

Transport written question – answered on 8th May 2008.

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Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria she uses to determine whether driving centres should be approved for closure.

Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

holding answer 29 April 2008

Decisions regarding the location of individual driving test centres are taken by the Driving Standards Agency.

The agency is a trading fund. As such, it is generally obliged to ensure that its operating costs are met from fee income. It seeks, therefore, to strike a reasonable balance between providing readily accessible driver testing services and the resultant costs that must be passed on to its customers.

In reaching decisions about car practical test centre location, the DSA must take account of the following ministerially agreed guidance on distance criteria at each level of population density:

Population density Distance criteria
>=1,250/km(2) No more than 7 miles
101-1,249/km(2) No more than 20 miles
0-100/km(2) No more than 30 miles

In respect of motorcycle practical test centre location, the DSA requires that most customers should be able to reach a motorcycle testing facility within 45 minutes, travelling no more than 20 miles.

When considering the closure of a driving test centre, DSA follows the "Code of Practice on Written Consultations—Driving Test Centres" which is available on the DSA's website and was agreed by Ministers.

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