The driving test centre in Trowbridge closed in 2008, with tests moving to the neighbouring centre in Chippenham. However, to meet the demand for more local tests in the Trowbridge area, in December DSA will begin testing on a part-time basis from 2 sites in Trowbridge and Westbury.
Today’s move is part of a national trial to provide a more local service for driving test candidates. The trial offers practical car tests in selected areas across England, Scotland and Wales that do not currently have a local test centre but still have a significant demand for tests.
The aim is to provide a service for the local community and ensure that candidates are able to take their test at a convenient location.
As well as using conventional driving test centres, tests are also being delivered from other sites such as hotels, leisure centres or local authority buildings, as is the case in Trowbridge and Westbury.
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said:
I am delighted that we are bringing driving tests closer to candidates in Wiltshire.
I want us to be more flexible and innovative in delivering driving tests to make sure that we are offering people the best service possible wherever they live.
Our aim is to offer a local service that is convenient for candidates as well as being cost effective.
Testing at both sites in Wiltshire will take place on a part time basis 2 days a week. Tests will be conducted from the Longfield Community Centre in Trowbridge from 12 December 2011, and from the Leighton Recreation Centre in Westbury from 15 December 2011.
In addition to the trial in Wiltshire, DSA is running trials in 6 other areas across the country. All the trials will be carefully monitored to assess any impact on levels of customer service and the cost of delivery, as well as making sure the integrity of the test is maintained.
DSA will then decide whether the trials can be rolled out on a permanent basis and extended to other areas without a local test centre where there is a significant demand, as well as suitable test routes and venues.
The trials only involve practical car tests; theory test centres will not be affected.