Pandemic forced cancellation of more than 100 driving tests in Inverurie

More than 100 driving tests were cancelled in Inverurie last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, figures reveal.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 6:00 am
The pandemic forced the cancellation of more than 100 driving tests in Inverurie

The AA said the disruption may have impacted learner drivers' confidence and compounded a difficult time for many young people.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency show 165 driving tests were cancelled at Inverurie Test Centre because of the pandemic between March and December.

A further one tests were cancelled – all of them because of acts of nature – adverse weather conditions and bad light.

Lessons are set to recommence no earlier than April 26 in Scotland, with tests to follow from May 6 – and the AA is expecting huge demand.

Robert Cowell, interim managing director of AA Driving School, said: "Many pupils will have either had a big break in lessons, which may impact their confidence, or have had to postpone driving lessons for many, many months.

"For young people, who have already suffered disruption to their education, not being able to learn to drive will compound an already stilted start to adult life."

He added that extending the validity period of theory test certificates or offering a free re-sit, could help reduce demand, or at least lessen the financial impact.

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC Foundation, said: “Learner drivers will breathe a sigh of relief that driving lessons and tests are restarting, however the backlog for those waiting for both practical and theory tests is likely to be huge."

He also urged the DVSA to consider a short extension for those whose theory test has either expired, or is about to, but the Government has already said it will not do so.

A DVSA spokesman added: “Ensuring new drivers have current, relevant knowledge and skills to identify developing hazards is a vital part of the training for young and new drivers, who are disproportionality represented in casualty statistics."

While more than 100 tests were cancelled in Inverurie, 113 did take place between April and the end of December.

Of these, 66 were successful, giving drivers at Inverurie Test Centre a pass rate of 58 per cent – above the average across Britain.