Harlow driving theory test centre closure ‘devastating’
General / Mon 23rd Aug 2021 at 02:52pm
THE closure of two driving theory test centres in Essex will have a “devastating” effect on learners, according to one Harlow instructor reports the BBC.
Centres in Harlow and Basildon will close permanently as part of national plans.
John Fennelly said people were already facing waits of 10 weeks for a test due to Covid-related delays.
The DVLA said the changes would create “a more even distribution” of test centres nationally.
The Essex closures will mean three test centres will remain available in the county – in Chelmsford, Colchester and Southend.
Mr Fennelly, who owns a driving school in Harlow, said there were already delays due to the impact of coronavirus.
“One of my pupils tried to book a theory test and can’t get one for 10 weeks,” he said.
“It’s quite devastating news.”
The DVLA said the changes were the result of a new theory test contract having been awarded to more than one company across the country.
It meant the locations of some centres nationally would change from 6 September, although the total number would increase from 180 to 202.
The DVLA said increasing the overall number of centres “will result in a more even distribution of test centre locations and will make theory tests more accessible to those in remote areas of the country”.
A spokesman added no candidate should have to travel more than 40 miles in a rural area or 40 minutes in an urban one.
So far under this Conservative Government Harlow has lost - It's Magistrates Court, it's County Court and now the DVLA are closing the Test Centre. And yet again services are centralised in Chelmsford (a 40mile round trip). We are a town with a population of over 80,000 people. So much for "Build Back Better".
I think a theory test is a way of making money, you had a theory test after your driving test. And now you have to travel to do it, more parking fees, bus or train fair its so unfair to people. Make more money well that's a surprise! Nothing changes
Well that makes sense considering the amount of people being let in the town. It’s becoming a joke.
My daughter just two weeks ago gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, but had to go to Basildon to register the birth. We have a large hospital with an extensive maternity department but woefully inadequate registration facility