HC Deb 30 March 1955 vol 539 c355
25. Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many persons took driving tests during 1954; what percentage passed on the first occasion; and the total cost to the taxpayer of the subsidy provided on driving tests.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Seven hundred and eighty-two thousand and ninety-one persons took the driving test in 1954. My Department does not keep a special record of the number of candidates who succeed at the first attempt but a sample check taken during the year indicated that 55 per cent. of candidates passed at the first attempt. The cost to the Exchequer in the financial year 1953–54 was £90,000.

Mr. On-Ewing

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a feeling among the public that in some areas it is made a principle to " plough " a man or woman when they first take the test, and will his Department look into this matter to see whether a standard which is fair and just is being applied all over the country?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I think that the figures which I have given for the country as a whole indicate that there is no such general practice. If my hon. Friend has any particular area in mind, I will, of course, gladly look into it.

Mr. Rankin

Does the test include making sure that the driver knows the difference between red and green?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I should think that he probably also knows the difference between red and blue.