WHITCHURCH driving instructors have reacted with fury over the news the town's driving test centre is to close under plans drawn up by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Under DVSA plans, Whitchurch students will be forced to take their tests in Crewe, Shrewsbury or Wrexham with a potential closure date of Sunday, April 10.

Ron Ingall, chairman of the Whitchurch and District Association of Professional Driving Instructors said he and fellow driving instructors were not consulted by the DVSA.

He added he hopes the recently-elected MP for North Shropshire, Helen Morgan, will support them in their fight to keep the centre open just as her predecessor, Owen Paterson, had done.

“She’s a new MP and has got to learn the ropes of but we are counting on her and putting her ore in and helping us with the campaign,” Ron said.

“Last time they tried to close the test centre, the then sitting MP attended the meetings and did everything he could to help us get the test centre reopened and we succeeded.

“We haven’t heard anything from Helen and I’m a bit concerned.”

The closure of the test centre will mean students from Whitchurch and the surrounding areas face being sent to areas and take their tests in areas they do not know well

In addition, many will face having their tests delayed due to the ongoing backlog of tests as a result of Covid-19 and lockdown.

Mr Ingall said the closure of the Whitchurch Test Centre will lead to an increased carbon footprint and they will be more expensive as more miles will be done

“They’ll be increasing the carbon footprint for everybody because they will be doing a lot more miles," he added.

“It’s going to cause a lot of hardship for local people because they are not paid really good wages round here.

“There are no jobs here.

“For young people they only way they can get out of the town and find jobs is by passing their test.”

A DVSA spokesperson said: “We have made the decision to close the Whitchurch driving test centre, as there are other nearby centres where the same services can be relocated.

“We understand this change may cause an inconvenience for some, but we have worked hard to ensure that there is no change in the number of tests provided to local candidates, and no tests were lost as a result of the closure.”

Driving instructors from Whitchurch and the surrounding areas will be meeting on Monday at Donington Hotel.