Driving test centre closure sparks campaign group anger

The leader of a Wiltshire campaign group says he is "flabbergasted and furious" that a driving theory test centre in Bath is to close.

Gary Fossey claims the closure of the Trowbridge driving test centre in 2008 is one of the reasons for a drop in demand for theory tests in Bath.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has announced that the centre will close on 31 August.

It will merge with the neighbouring test centres in Bristol and Swindon.

'Spend responsibly'

Mr Fossey, of the Campaign to Reopen Trowbridge Driving Test Centre, said the Bath centre provided a "local valuable service" for people in Bath, Trowbridge, Frome and Westbury.

He added: "[They] have already been hard hit financially to the tune of £200 to £400 to pass their practical test in Chippenham, together with people in the Norton Radstock areas.

"[The closure] is yet another burden for and insult to people wanting to learn to drive and the driver training industry in this area."

The Bath centre has the capacity to deliver more than 25,000 tests a year, but last year it conducted less than 9,000.

DSA chief executive Rosemary Thew said there was also spare capacity at Bristol and Swindon, and that it was not cost effective to keep all three centres running.

"DSA relies for income on the fees we receive from our customers so we have a duty to spend that money responsibly while maintaining a good level of service," she added.

Practical driving tests will not be affected by the changes.

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