More access to DSA, less to the DVLA

HALFORDSstoryDriving tests will be available from 21 Halfords sites from this autumn in a new partnership with the Driving Standards Agency, but 39 local Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency offices are to close.

The DSA started to look for alternative sites in areas without test centres last year, and is also considering proposals from the Fire and Rescue Service and some universities.

Halfords will be the first in the public private partnerships to provide alternative test locations for DSA examiners to work from at zero cost.

Halfords CEO David Wild said: “We want to help motorists wherever we can, so we look forward to working in partnership with the DSA to provide a first class service for drivers taking their tests.”

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: “. This initiative is a great example of how working with partners in the public and private sectors can help to ensure that we offer the best possible service wherever they live.

“It is vital that public services are as open and accessible as possible.”

However, in another statement Penning said that the local DVLA office closures would save £26 million a year and be completed by March 2013.

“While I recognise that a large number of respondents [to consultation] expressed concern, I believe that many of these concerns can be mitigated and I am confident that this programme will result in modern, effective services.”

Penning said the Government has worked to address concerns over the potential degradation of DVLA services and to generate more confidence in alternative access online and through 4000 local business intermediaries.

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