Back in June 2011 I wrote this short post about plans to provide tests in areas without test centres. The initial idea was to use a wide range of places including supermarkets, community centres and leisure centres. Today the DSA announced the first one will go ahead on 5th February from the Halfords branch in Wellingborough. Below is part of the press release from the DSA. Read the full article here.
As well as using traditional driving test centres, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is looking at working with public and private sector partners to provide driving test premises in selected areas that don’t already have a local test centre.
DSA began exploring a new approach to test delivery last year, offering tests from premises such as local authority buildings and leisure centres. In March this year the agency announced plans to extend the scheme to 21 more locations, and invited proposals from businesses and other organisations.
DSA has now selected Halfords plc as a preferred partner, and is also exploring partnerships with the Fire and Rescue Service and several universities. In one location the agency also expects to sign an agreement with training company Mantra Learning Ltd.
Partners will allow the use of their premises at no cost to DSA, and tests will continue to be conducted by DSA examiners.
Mike Penning, said:
It is vital that public services are as open and accessible as possible. This initiative is a great example of how working with partners in the public and private sectors can help to ensure that we offer people the best possible service wherever they live.
Our aim is to provide all driving test candidates with a local service that is convenient as well as being cost effective.