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Pontypridd test centre closure motivated by money not service needs

January 23, 2018 9:30 AM

In an article which left me increasingly bemused Wales Online reported recently that Pontypridd Driving Test Centre is to close. Bemused because of the obvious contradictions in statements made by the DVSA in relation to this since the outset.

Unlike Ms Wood AM and others I have been involved in this since it was first mooted in late 2015 - the DVSA then spoke of relocating "in the new year" i.e. 2016. Obviously that timescale has slipped a bit. Numerous people including myself, driving instructors and their union representatives have tried to get more information from them and put forward arguments as to why it should not go ahead.

Their original response from the DVSA Head of Corporate Office Colin Maddock stated

"The building has structural issue of long standing that are evident and continuing despite underpinning work some years ago. The building is not yet presenting a risk to occupation but we are aware of the continuing need to keep this under review and cannot remain there in the long term."

""Our preferred option is to relocate the test centre to the goods vehicle testing station near Llantrisant. We are, however, willing to consider other locations in Pontypridd, providing they would be operationally suitable and cost neutral."

I was surprised then to read in the recent article that the DVSA have now said it will close as "it is failing to meet the national requirements for the driving test". They should make up their mind which it is.

In the meantime I will continue to meet with driving instructors and look at how we can put across the case against this move. As I said when it was first proposed if this goes ahead then it will be yet another facility gone from the town which has suffered enough already. Not only that but it will exacerbate the traffic situation in the Miskin / Llantrisant which is already horrendous. The DVSA say they have had to cancel tests at the start and finish of the day because of the traffic congestion in Pontypridd - have they actually seen the traffic in all directions through Talbot Green?

This decision - as so many others - is motivated by money not the needs of the people the service provides for.

Cllr Mike Powell