§ Lord Trafford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What action is being taken to implement the review of the driving testing report.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Lord Brabazon of Tara)
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport has approved the programme of detailed departmental action drawn up to implement the key measures recommended. The object will be to make the best use of existing resources and to give customers a better service with reduced waiting times for tests. A new service, providing Saturday morning tests, will be offered on a trial basis at selected centres throughout the country in the next few months. Computerisation of test appointments over the next 18 months will offer customers a speedier and better booking service. In the light of the high costs and inflated queues for tests that the review has identified flowing from last-minute cancellations that cannot be re-allocated, we propose to amend regulations to require 10 clear working days' notice to cancel or re-book without loss of fee.
Driving instructors play a key role in preparing people to cope with today's vehicles and road conditions. Learners should take their advice about when they are ready to take a driving test. We are continuing discussions with the associations of approved driving instructors about maintaining high standards and the publication of information to help customers seeking professional tuition. Avoiding accidents means not just a high level of driving skills, but constant awareness and consideration for other road users.
Copies of the department's plan for implementation are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses.