16-week wait for driving tests in Weston-super-Mare?

The current wait for driving tests is 16 weeks according to Neil Bayliss.

The current wait for driving tests is 16 weeks according to Neil Bayliss. - Credit: Archant

Waiting times for a driving test in Weston-super-Mare are more than twice the Government target, according to Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) figures.

The DVSA told the Mercury the waiting time at Weston’s test centre currently stands at 13 weeks, though a driving instructor claims the current wait for learner drivers in the town actually stands at 16 weeks.

The Government has set a target of six-week waiting lists for test centres across the country.

Neil Bayliss, of Weston and Mendip Advanced Motorists, believes the delays are having a negative impact on learner drivers. He said: “As if the stress and pressure of a driving test isn’t enough on its own, the learners are going into the test knowing if they do just one silly thing and fail they will have to wait another four months to retake the test.”

Mr Bayliss highlighted the financial impact of the delays, with learners forking our for ‘horrendously expensive’ extra lessons to maintain their skill level until they eventually take their test.

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The waiting times could lead to an increase in uninsured drivers in the area that ‘won’t bother’ with the test according to Mr Bayliss.

He continued: “There is an impact on all of us in terms of road safety. With this length of waiting list it’s more likely that some won’t bother to take or retake the test and just drive anyway.

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“These waiting lists are encouraging more irresponsible unlicensed drivers on the road.”

Mr Bayliss said Weston-based driving instructors voiced their concerns over waiting times to the DVSA at a recent meeting, and challenge the organisation’s explanation for the 16-week wait.

He added: “The DVSA cited the main reason for the waiting lists as more people wanting a test than anticipated, an estimated seven per cent increase.

“However a seven per cent increase in people wanting tests doesn’t fully explain a 150 per cent increase in waiting lists.”

A DVSA spokesman said: “We acknowledge that waiting times are currently higher than we would like.

“We are working to address this as quickly as possible and will continue with further examiner recruitment campaigns throughout 2016.”

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