A massive backlog means that learner drivers may have to wait up to 10-months before taking their practical driving tests…
10-Month Wait for Practical Tests
Some learner drivers are having to wait 10-months in order to take their practical driving tests. The delay has been principally caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which created an enormous backlog of would-be drivers. Moreover, there’s a serious shortage of both instructors and examiners – further complicating the problem. A number of examiners are leaving the industry in order to become HGV drivers, due to significantly better pay.
In order to get around the lengthy delays, some learner drivers are having to drive excessive distances to reach a testing centre with free slots. One learner, for instance, had to travel 80 miles in order to avoid the lengthy waiting time.
‘Doing All We Can’
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has told the BBC that it’s currently working to mitigate the delays. It’s currently attempting to hire 300 examiners to alleviate the issue. In addition, it’s now offering tests on weekends and bank holidays; whilst also trying to lure retired examiners back into the fold.
Loveday Ryder, the DVSA’s chief executive, has stressed that the organisation is doing everything it can to increase the availability of practical tests. She said, “we are doing all we can to provide as many tests as possible so we can get our services back to normal”. It remains to be seen whether its measures will prove successful, or how long it’ll take to fully address the backlog.
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