To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the average change in total costs for driving test candidates which will arise from (a) the relocation of the Trowbridge driving test centre in Chippendale and (b) the nationwide programme of test centre closures; and what costs to candidates have been taken into account in making decisions on closures.
No estimate has been made for changes in the total costs for driving test candidates when closing driving test centres in specific areas, or nationwide. This is due to the high number of variables that would have to be taken into account, such as where candidates live and the value they place on their time. Any estimated costs could be based only on assumptions and could result in inaccurate figures.
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is a trading fund and costs are largely recovered through test fees paid by driving test candidates. In order to keep any fee increases to a minimum, DSA seeks economies in the way it conducts its business.
The existing driving test centre provision is constantly monitored to ensure that acceptable service standards are maintained but there is no wasteful over-provision of facilities. The right balance needs to be struck between the provision of a satisfactory level of public service and the cost that service incurs.