HC Deb 16 July 1980 vol 988 cc599-600W
Mr. Thomas Cox

asked the Minister of Transport what is the present waiting time for a driving test in each of the examination centres in Greater London Council area.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Waiting periods at these centres are:

Centre Waiting period (weeks)
Barking Over 40
Barnet 31
Belvedere 28
Bexleyheath 28
Burnt Oak 34
Chingford 32
Croydon 34
East Ham Over 40
Greenford 40
Hayes 38
Hendon Over 40
Hither Green 33
Hornchurch Over 40
Ilford Over 40
Isleworth Over 40
Lee 35
Mill Hill Over 40
Morden 35
Norwood 35
Palmers Green Over 40
Ruislip 28
Sidcup 28
Southall Over 40
Southfields 36
Southgate 27
Surbiton 36
Sutton 35
Teddington Over 40
Tottenham 23 (Centre closing on 18 December)
Wallington 31
Wanstead Over 40
Wealdstone 31
West Wickham 34
Winchmore Hill Over 40
Wood Green Over 40

Limitations in the capacity of the appointment booking computer in the Metropolitan traffic area make it impossible to give precise waiting periods where these exceed 40 weeks. The number of centres where this limitation applies has fallen as the examiner force has increased.

Waiting periods in London are still much higher than the national average. They are reducing more slowly than elsewhere largely because first responses to our examiner recruitment drive were quicker and greater outside London whilst unfortunately London has by far the biggest backlog. More examiners are being recruited as quickly as possible, new test centres are being sought and we are bringing in examiners from elsewhere to help. The situation should improve steadily but it was bound to take time to overcome the dreadful position we found when we took office.