Driving instructor bemoans Northamptonshire test centre waiting times
A driving instructor says waiting times for practical tests in Kettering are a ticking timebomb.
Learner drivers currently have to wait for more than three months in some instances due to rising demand.
Local driving instructor Andrew Love says the DVSA is struggling to cope.
He said: “What has happened is that last year between October and December there were 33 tests cancelled, of which 11 were due to industrial action and 14 due to sickness.
“I think there’s a massive problem within the DVSA, waiting times are up to 16 or 17 weeks.
“The big issue is that we need kids to be mobile to get jobs.
“I also train people to become driving instructors and someone’s test has been cancelled this week and she has to wait another three weeks.
“Some people are having to go as far as Leicester.”
Last week the Northants Telegraph revealed Wellingborough’s driving test centre is to shut in July.
Mr Love added: “With Wellingborough shutting soon examiners are being distributed but there are still issues.
“It’s a ticking timebomb.
“The DVSA have got too much going on.”
The issue was raised in Parliament by MP for Kettering Philip Hollobone after Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Transport Andrew Jones said there were concerns over waiting times.
Mr Hollobone said: “I too am receiving complaints about delays in Kettering in driving tests and cancellations of appointments.
“May I urge the Roads Minister to get on top of this problem before it gets out of control?”
DVSA head of operations Phil Lloyd said they are working to address the issue as quickly as they can.
He said: “The increase in demand for driving tests is continuing, and we acknowledge that waiting times are currently higher than we would like in some of our locations.
“We are working to address this as quickly as possible and will continue with further examiner recruitment campaigns throughout 2016.
“Recruitment from the 2015 campaigns has resulted in 193 new examiners starting work at test centres across Great Britain.
“Offers have also been made to a further 140 people, who are currently on the new entrant training course or waiting to attend.”