Jessica Taylor – House of Commons photographer
Kate Osborne MP for the Jarrow constituency has voiced her concerns at any potential moves to close the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Test Centre on the Bede Industrial Estate, Jarrow, and the proposed relocation of Examiners and test candidates to the Sunderland Test Centre.
Following contact from constituents who had voiced concerns to Ms Osborne relating to the future of the DVSA Test Centre on the Bede Industrial Estate, the Jarrow Constituency MP received an official letter from the DVSA confirming the test centre was being evaluated. The letter seems to contradict itself by saying “We have carried out a review of the local area to ensure that the provision of local services is satisfied, and the impact of any proposed closure is minimalised. A larger site in Sunderland is approximately 5/6 miles away and the examiners at South Shields will be working at Sunderland to ensure our local service delivery continues to maintain a high standard.”
The impact of this possible closure will have a devastating impact on South Tyneside and a large number of my constituents. Relocation of this valuable service will mean that longer lessons will be needed to travel to test areas with extra lesson costs to South Tyneside learners estimated at £512,000 per annum.
Furthermore, this possible closure would also increase waiting lists for Driving Instructors as well as waiting lists for Driving Tests which would also financially impact many of Kate’s constituents. This closure risks skilled Instructors and Examiners leaving the industry which will further exacerbate already long waiting times.
Kate strongly believes that any potential relocation of services from South Tyneside would have a devastating impact on the local community.
Kate Osborne MP said: “I strongly oppose any moves to remove any services from the DVSA Test Centre on the Bede Industrial Estate in Jarrow. This would have a devastating impact on learners, instructors and examiners.
“The Bede Industrial Estate site is a hugely important part of the local community and has been for decades. Generations of families have passed their driving test there and it would be a devastating loss to the South Tyneside and our close-knit local community if this unnecessary and wholly unacceptable closure was allowed to happen.
“I have written to the DVSA and the Transport Minister about this issue as a matter of urgency.”