To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many driving test examiners were based at the Reading Driving Test Centre as of 19 September 2023; and whether he has made an assessment of that adequacy of the number of examiners at that centre.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to increase the availability of tests at the Reading driving test centre.
As of 18 September 2023, there were 561,275 car practical driving tests booked, and 64,817 driving tests available within the 24-week booking window.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is taking all the measures it can to reduce driving test waiting times. This includes carrying out overtime, such as at weekends and on public holidays, including at Reading driving test centre (DTC), asking local driving test managers to return to testing for two days each week, buying back leave from driving examiners (DE) and, inviting recently retired DEs to return to work. These measures, together with the ongoing recruitment of DEs, is creating over 40,000 extra car test slots each month.
The DVSA’s next DE recruitment campaign, which launches on 25 October 2023, will target the Reading area. As of 19 September 2023, there were five DEs at Reading DTC, with an additional DE undergoing training. The DVSA is also deploying DEs to Reading from other areas to increase test availability and reduce waiting times.
In August 2023, the national average waiting time was 20 weeks, and 24 weeks at Reading DTC.