To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, in the context of the driving test backlog, if he will take steps to increase the number of driving test slots available, particularly in rural areas.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps to clear the driving test backlog and reduce test waiting times, particularly in rural areas.
Driver testing services were significantly disrupted during the pandemic, which has led to a high demand for learners who are now wanting to take their driving test. The DVSA is working hard to provide as many practical driving test appointments as it can and has a number of measures in place to do this. These include offering a national recovery allowance and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays and weekends), and resuming the number of driving tests per day to seven for each full-time examiner.
The DVSA is also recruiting more than 300 driving examiners across Great Britain. The DVSA’s examiner recruitment campaigns continue to be successful but, like many employers, it is finding the job market extremely competitive. As it moves through each recruitment campaign, the DVSA will continually review and make changes and improvements to its recruitment and selection process, and training courses.
To reduce the number of driving tests that go to waste, the DVSA has introduced a text messaging service to remind candidates about their test and has also launched a ‘Ready to Pass?’ campaign to improve learners’ understanding of what it means to be test ready and how they can assess their readiness.