HC Deb 16 March 1955 vol 538 cc1296-7
47. Mr. R. Bell

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation the number of persons waiting to take the driving test a year ago and at the latest convenient date, respectively; and what is now the average waiting period between application and testing.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Ninety-two thousand seven hundred and forty at present as against 55,293 a year ago. There is a waiting period of about six weeks.

Mr. Bell

Does my right hon. Friend not feel, in view of the very large increase in the numbers of people who are awaiting tests, that the whole arrangements for these driving tests need careful re-examination, or is he quite satisfied that the position has not broken down?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

This problem has arisen because of the very large numbers of applicants for driving tests. During last year substantially more people took tests than in the previous year, but out increases in staff have not yet kept pace with the big increase in the number of applicants for tests. That is why we are recruiting more staff.

Mr. Vane

Are all the 549 examiners employed full-time, or are some employed part-time? If they are all employed full-time, has my right hon. Friend considered adding to the number by the appointment of part-time examiners?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That question calls for a certain number of figures, and perhaps my hon. Friend will put a Question on the Order Paper.

Mr. Noel-Baker

If the number of drivers is to be increasedby this formidable total, does the Minister not think it would be advisable to push ahead faster with his road programme?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The road programme is a very great improvement on that produced by the Government of which the right hon. Gentleman was a member.