Pandemic forced cancellation of more than 1,000 driving tests in Worksop

More than 1,000 driving tests were cancelled in Worksop last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, figures reveal.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:31 pm

The AA said the disruption may have impacted learner drivers' confidence and compounded a difficult time for many young people.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency show 1,061 driving tests were cancelled at Worksop Test Centre because of the pandemic between March and December.

A further 62 tests were cancelled for other reasons – including nine for medical absences and 46 because the examiner took annual or special leave.

The pandemic has disrupted driving lessons and driving tests.

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Acts of nature – adverse weather conditions and bad light – also forced the cancellation of seven tests.

Across Great Britain, 458,000 tests could not take place because of the pandemic in 2020, though the DVSA said there were 420,000 booked for a test when the centres reopened.

Lessons have recommenced in England and Wales, and tests started again on April 22.

Robert Cowell, interim managing director of AA Driving School, said: "Many pupils will have either had a big break in lessons, which may impact their confidence, or have had to postpone driving lessons for many, many months.

"For young people, who have already suffered disruption to their education, not being able to learn to drive will compound an already stilted start to adult life."

He added that extending the validity period of theory test certificates – as has been the case for MOTs and driving licences – or offering a free re-sit, could help reduce demand, or at least lessen the financial impact.

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC Foundation, said: “Learner drivers will breathe a sigh of relief that driving lessons and tests are restarting, however the backlog for those waiting for both practical and theory tests is likely to be huge."

He also urged the DVSA to consider a short extension for those whose theory test has either expired, or is about to, but the Government has already said it will not do so.

A DVSA spokesman added: “Ensuring new drivers have current, relevant knowledge and skills to identify developing hazards is a vital part of the training for young and new drivers, who are disproportionality represented in casualty statistics."

While more than 1,000 tests were cancelled in Worksop, 1,267 did take place between April and the end of December.

Of these, 739 were successful, giving drivers at Worksop Test Centre a pass rate of 58 per cent – above the average across Britain of 50 per cent.

Meanwhile, DVLA figures from March show just 2.97 million people in Britain aged 16-25 hold a full licence – the smallest number since records began in November 2012.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Sam Jackson, editor.