New driving test centre in Hartlepool?
As the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) looks to tackle driving test backlogs up and down the UK, it has turned its attention to Hartlepool. Plans to open a new driving test centre in Hartlepool have been unveiled, news that has been welcomed by the town’s learner drivers.
According to local press reports, the DVSA has filed for planning permission to use part of the Training and Enterprise office block in Lynn Street as a base for a new practical driving test centre in Hartlepool.
The DVSA has confirmed that it has lodged a ‘change of use’ application with Hartlepool Borough Council that would allow the agency to use part of the ground floor of the office block in Lynn Street as a driving test centre.
What will the new driving test in Hartlepool bring?
The new driving test centre in Hartlepool will see five examiners based at the site, with 6,000 driving tests expected to take place at the facility per year, at a rate of 35 per day. The opening hours of the proposed new test centre will be 7am to 5pm from Monday to Saturday.
The facility will also open on Sundays and bank holidays occasionally, to further ease driving test backlogs in the town. As part of its application to use the office space, the DVSA plans to occupy eight spaces in the existing car park.
A DVSA spokesperson said: “Use of the office space will ensure that the DVSA is able to continue to provide test services to meet demand in the local area.”
Existing driving test centre in Hartlepool
The town already has a driving test centre located on Mainsforth Terrace, but those awaiting a driving test appointment in Hartlepool currently face a postcode lottery.
In some areas of the town, the waiting time for a driving test is a few weeks. However, some learner drivers in Hartlepool face a four month waiting period. The current shortage of test
appointments has been blamed on instructor shortages, but the new centre will create jobs and help to ease delays.
Currently, the DVSA operates more than 400 practical driving and multi-purpose test centres and theory test centres nationally.
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