Plan to localise driving tests

LEARNER drivers could be able to take their tests in Corby and Wellingborough as part of a new trial.

The Driving Standards Agency has been looking at the possibility of delivering driving tests from venues such as local authority buildings, hotels or leisure centres.

And areas which don’t have test centres but have sufficient demand for tests are being selected for the trial.

Locally they include Corby, Wellingborough and Market Harborough.

All the area’s tests are currently carried out from a Kettering super centre, which opened in September 2008. Wellingborough’s test centre closed at the same time, and Corby didn’t have its own base.

The agency is working to identify suitable test routes and premises in the test areas.

Driving instructors had mixed views on the plan.

Paul Goodman, of Goodman’s School of Motoring in Wellingborough, said: “It would make life easier, but the question will be ‘is it going to happen?’. The DSA talks about a lot of things but they don’t always happen.

“I would like Wellingborough to have a test route again. If you live in Wellingborough, it is a lot easier to do your test in Wellingborough.”

Former instructor Simon Cliffe covered Corby, Kettering and the surrounding villages.

He said: “The distinct issue in Corby is there are no traffic lights.

“I can’t see it working in Corby, but in Wellingborough they have already got the test routes there.

“I think they would struggle to find a suitable route to use in Corby.”

Road safety minister Mike Penning said: “We have to be more flexible and innovative in delivering tests to make sure we are offering people the best service possible wherever they live.”