HC Deb 22 May 1957 vol 570 c1218
47. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will make a further statement on the resumption of driving tests.

64. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he is now able to say when there will be a full resumption of driving tests.

The Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. Harold Watkinson)

The present total strength of 712 driving examiners are now engaged on driving tests. This number will shortly be increased to 750 on the completion of the training of new entrants.

Mrs. Castle

Is there not an enormous backlog of applications for tests? Has the right hon. Gentleman any idea how long it will take to clear it? May it not take several months, lasting well into the summer? In what priority will the right hon. Gentleman deal with it? Will he also consider giving priority to the learner motor cyclists who, until they have passed their tests, cannot take pillion passengers for a ride in the summer months?

Mr. Watkinson

There is a backlog, but I am glad to say that it is not so large as the hon. Lady has suggested. I am also glad to say that driving examiners are working overtime and that, as we shall have the largest force of examiners working that the Ministry has ever had, I am confident that we shall clear off the backlog in a reasonably short space of time.