A FREEDOM of Interest (FOI) request on data concerning learner drivers from the SY13 have travelled as far as Yeovil in Somerset to take tests.

The FOI was submitted to the Driving Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) by North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan as she campaigns for a test centre to return to the town, despite the provider stating firmly it will not be coming back to Whitchurch.

Mrs Morgan used the data to warn MPs of the impact on the next generation of closing Whitchurch Driving Test Centre as data revealed learners have been taking tests as far away as Yeovil.


She said: “The closure of Whitchurch Driving Test Centre has been incredibly damaging for the whole town.

“In places as rural as north Shropshire with very limited public transport, a car can be a necessity to access education and work.  

“Closures like at Whitchurch have a real human impact, in particular on our next generation who are having to book double-lessons to learn to drive.

“I told other MPs about the impact of this and will be continuing to campaign on the issue until we bring a Test Centre back to Whitchurch.”

The FOI request into where SY13 learners were taking tests in Shrewsbury, for the majority, with Crewe in second – however Yeovil (190 miles away), Kendal (120 miles away) and Barnsley (90 miles away) have all had SY13 residents take multiple tests.

Mrs Morgan added: “Waits to get a test at Shrewsbury and Wrexham have almost always been over a month since the pandemic, and often far longer.”

She argued this week in a Westminster Hall debate on supporting young drivers that the closure ‘causes young people a huge problem’ with those booking double-lessons to get to Crewe or Shrewsbury facing much higher costs in learning to drive.

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She also added that other rural closures must be prevented.

The MP has campaigned for a test centre to be returned to Whitchurch since the site was shut in April 2022.

If you have been forced to test out of the county and want to talk about it, email news@whitchurchherald.co.uk