Government Minister rules out any possibility of an appeal over Wisbech test centre closure

TRANSPORT Minister John Clark said today the closure of Wisbech Driving Test Centre will go ahead as planned – and dismissed last ditch attempts to save it. John Clark told Malcolm Moss, MP for NE Cambs, that the decision had been made by the Driving Sta

TRANSPORT Minister John Clark said today the closure of Wisbech Driving Test Centre will go ahead as planned - and dismissed last ditch attempts to save it.

John Clark told Malcolm Moss, MP for NE Cambs, that the decision had been made by the Driving Standards Agency "and I can confirm that it is not possible to appeal against its decision".

His comments, relayed in a letter to Mr Moss, will come as a blow to Fenland District Council who only two weeks ago backed the campaign to save it.

Councillor Mac Cotterell joined the chorus of opposition, pledging to "fight until it sinks. It is another thing Wisbech cannot lose."


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Council leader Alan Melton promised to "get a letter out as quickly as possible to express our horror at this decision" but Mr Moss accepts the battle is lost.

The MP says it is "disappointing that Clark does not address central points in this matter and that there is no way" for him to appeal.

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He's now written to the Shadow transport team to ask whether the Conservatives, if they win the next election, would be able to reverse the decision.

Mr Clark argued that the 16 miles people from Wisbech will now have to travel to take a test in Kings Lynn "is within the DSA's travel distance criterion for the population density of the Wisbech area".

He said he shared the DSA's view that it was not necessary for learner drivers from the Wisbech area to travel to Kings Lynn for driving lessons.

"If approved driving instructors teach people to drive where they live and work, rather than close to where test centres are, they should be able to avoid increased costs and inconvenience," he said.

It was important pupils are taught on a variety of roads "not just test centres".

The Wisbech centre will now close in March.

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