Learner drivers across Merseyside are facing excessive waits to take their practical test due to a shortage of examiners.
Many driving test centres are fully booked for the foreseeable future with some having waiting lists as long as three months.
Centres in Upton, Warrington and Garston are all fully booked until the end of February and driving instructors are calling for more examiners to be based at each centre in order to prevent delays.
Andrew Brown, an independent driving instructor based in Liverpool, told JMU Journalism how long waiting lists are discouraging learner drivers from taking their actual test.
He said: “It’s impossible to get a test anywhere for the next few months. I have students who are raring to go but the wait for a test is putting them off.
“The best thing they could do is to put more examiners at the centres so everybody has a fair chance.”
According to the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) the delays are partly due to an increase in the amount of people taking tests this year, with 407,000 tests carried out nationwide between January and March 2015 – up by 5.2% for the same time last year.
The DVSA Head of Operations, Phil Lloyd, claimed that the organisation is doing all it can to reduce waiting times, including hiring more examiners, saying: “Demand for driving tests is increasing, and we acknowledge that waiting times are currently higher than we would like in some areas.
“We are in the process of recruiting more examiners. In the meantime we are temporarily bringing in examiners from other areas whenever we can. We are sorry for any inconvenience.”