'Stop Wexit' campaign will see instructors drive through Wellingborough to protest at test centre closure

About 40 driving instructors will protest over the closure of Wellingborough's test centre by taking part in a motorcade through the town in a campaign dubbed Stop Wexit.

Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 10:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 12:10 pm
The test centre will close on April 12

In February this year, the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) announced that April 11 would be the last day tests would be held at Glamis Hall.

This means there will be no more driving tests undertaken in Wellingborough; people will instead have to travel to Northampton or Kettering.

Glamis Hall in Wellingborough

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Chris Howard, group leader of Stop Wexit, said: "Wellingborough and district driving instructors are incensed at being treated like this once again by the DVSA.

"This campaign has, at its centre, 40-plus approved driving instructors who have a vested interest in keeping this facility open.

"We are supported by a huge number of people from the public and businesses alike.

"We have two petitions running simultaneously, paper and online, and so far have collected over 1,500 signatories.

"Stop Wexit urges the DVSA to reconsider their decision and stop this cutback in local service and keep the Wellingborough driving test centre open."

The instructors will meet up in their cars at 12.30pm on Saturday (March 16) outside Glamis Hall in Goldsmith Road and drive down Northampton Road and Wellingborough High Street.

Their motorised protest will arrive at Wellingborough MP Peter Bone's High Street office at 1pm for a meeting.

"I fully support the Stop Wexit campaign," said Mr Bone.

"The Wellingborough driving test centre is used by thousands of local people each and every year and with the growth of people now living and working in Wellingborough, this driving test centre will be vital to manage the increase in people wanting to take their test.

"On Tuesday, I presented a petition in the House of Commons to ask the Secretary of State for Transport and the DVSA to take into account the concerns of the petitioners and refuse to close the Wellingborough centre."

Between April and September last year, Wellingborough’s test centre had a much higher success rate than its two county counterparts.

Of the 393 learners taking their test at Glamis Hall 59.8 per cent passed, far higher than the 52 per cent success rate at Kettering and the 48.9 per cent success rate in Northampton.

In February, DVSA director of operations south Richard Hennessy said: "The temporary driving test centre at Wellingborough only opens for two days a week.

“Using the nearby test centres at Northampton and Kettering we will be able to provide all candidates with a more consistent service, seven days a week.

"Candidates can take their test at neighbouring driving test centres, which have lower waiting times than Wellingborough and capacity to accommodate additional test bookings."