Conservative Transport Minister Mike Penning MP, has confirmed that people in Warrington will soon be able to take their Driving Test in Warrington once again. The previous Labour Government closed the original test centre in Orford back in 2008 despite widespread local opposition.
In a letter to David Mowat, Mr Penning said that he wanted the Driving Standards Agency, which oversees Driving Tests, "to be more flexible and innovative in delivering driving test to make sure it is offering the best service possible wherever they live" and that they were currently "working to identify suitable test routes in the Warrington area and find a venue that offers the right level of service for candidates"
The announcement is a personal victory for both David Mowat and Cllr Paul Campbell (Con – Penketh), who both opposed the closure of the centre at the time. David promised to take the matter up with ministers if elected to Parliament. Since then he has tabled questions, spoken in debates and written to Mr Penning about the problems in Warrington.
Mr Mowat said:
"Against all the advice of local instructors and local opinion, Labour ploughed ahead with their national closure programme and left Warrington as one of the biggest towns in the country without its own test centre. I'm delighted that Warrington will be leading the way in delivering a local service like this to local learners.
"I've been campaigning on this issue for nearly 4 years and it's great to see that ministers will take note of MPs willing to stand up for their constituency."
Cllr Paul Campbell said:
"The previous Council administration was trying hard to get Driving Test facilities back into the town and so I am thrilled to hear that this hard work has now paid off. Council Officers are in the process of shortlisting possible sites that could be used as a base and I will be monitoring the situation closely to make sure that this trial is a success.
"Delivering flexible local services to local people is right at the heart of what this Government is about and I am pleased that we are delivering for Warrington."