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Instructors warn of 'serious problem' with driving tests in Ipswich

Driving instructor Nigel Harley, with his dog Daisy Picture: NIGEL FARLEY

Driving instructor Nigel Harley, with his dog Daisy Picture: NIGEL FARLEY

Archant

Driving Instructors in Suffolk have raised concerns after a string of practical tests were cancelled in the Ipswich area.

Driving instructor Nigel Harley says he has had a number of tests cancelled at Ipswich Driving Test Centre Picture: NIGEL FARLEYDriving instructor Nigel Harley says he has had a number of tests cancelled at Ipswich Driving Test Centre Picture: NIGEL FARLEY

Nigel Farley, who lives in Debenham, has been covering Ipswich and surrounding villages for 25 years.

In that time he claims tests are usually only cancelled by examiners around once a year - but in the last five weeks, eight have been cancelled at the last-minute.

Nigel Farley, who is based in Debenham near Stowmarket, said: "I should have had one today (Friday) but it was cancelled on Monday and has now been put back to August.

"She starts a new job on Monday and she is up the creek now.

"She has only found out a few days beforehand and has had the chair kicked out from under her.

"They don't take that into account. It's a serious problem.

"It has an effect on my business because too I have to reschedule and rebook.

"I have been doing the job for 25 years and you really have to get them psyched up and in the right frame of mind for the test.

"By the time their test comes along they know how to control the car, the test doesn't really look at how your drive - it's more about road safety.
"If you make a mistake, they are more concerned with how to deal with it."

Instructor Dave Donovan, who works for the Pass Master Mal and Donovan Driving Schools, said five of his pupils tests had also been cancelled recently.

"We don't know what is going on, it's very frustrating, he said.

"It costs us money too.

"Our pupils get all pumped and geared up for the test and then wallop, it gets cancelled.

"Then they have the hassle of topping up their lessons before taking the test again."

A spokesman for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said: "DVSA's priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving.

"Due to unplanned staff absences, some tests have had to be postponed.

"After listening to the concerns of driving instructors during a constructive meeting on June 26, additional staff were brought into Ipswich driving test centre.

"This action has helped maintain service."

Have you been affected? Let us know at news@archant.co.uk

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