Learner drivers in Bristol are struggling to book their test drives before October with all available slots currently booked. There are more than half a million learner drivers waiting to take their tests in Britain and it appears Bristol has been hit by the backlog.
According to the website Driving test cancellations 4 All, which checks the DVSA website thousands of times a day for testing, there are no bookings available for the Bristol Avonmouth, Bristol Jubilee House or Bristol Kingswood test centers. According to the DVSA website, you can book a test no earlier than 24 weeks in advance, which means there are no test slots available until Sunday, October 23, 2022.
The huge demand was partly blamed on the coronavirus pandemic which forced driving tests and lessons to stop leading to a surge in demand. It is believed that it could take all of this year and next to clear the backlog. Currently, the only way to get a test in the next 24 weeks will be through a cancellation.
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A spokesperson for Marmalade Insurance told the Echo of Southend“With the 2020/21 lockdowns causing carnage in the driving test booking system, we’ve seen a backlog rumble over the last 12 months.”
They added: “With the demand for drive tests expected to greatly exceed the number of slots available at the start of this year, the backlog of drive tests will peak in May, when there will be more than half a -million (520,581) learners wanting to book a test Southend has the same problem with comprehensive driving tests as Bristol.
One measure the DVSA is taking to reduce the backlog is to extend the time learners have to wait to retake their test. Now drivers will have to wait 28 days after failing a test to retake it, instead of the usual 10.
Mark Winn, Chief Driving Examiner for DVSA, said: “With nearly half of all learners still failing their first car driving test, it’s clear we need to do more to ensure that learners drivers only take their exam when they are fully prepared.
“These measures will help ensure that learners who are ready for the test can find appointments and will give those who fail more time to get additional practice.”