ANGUS MP Mike Weir met with a senior representative of the Driving Standards Agency in Arbroath to discuss the future of the Arbroath test centre and has been assured that it will remain open for at least the next year.
Mr Weir had been verbally assured by UK Minister Mike Penning that the centre would remain open whilst he considered the matter, but the local MP was anxious to know how long it would remain in operation.
Mr Weir said that the extension gave a breathing space and time for discussion.
He continued: “The DSA have assured me that the centre will remain open for at least a year whilst all options are looked at for delivering the service in Arbroath.
“The strong campaign locally and in Parliament has clearly forced a major rethink in how the DSA are looking at local test centres and I will be keeping up the pressure to try and ensure that we continue to have testing facilities locally.”
Mr Weir is due to meet the Transport Minister for further discussions after the Parliamentary recess.
He continued: “I am pleased that the Minister had listened to the points which I made in the Parliamentary debate and questions, including that to the Prime Minister. We have, at the very least, managed to secure a substantial rethink on the whole issue and I would hope that at the end of the day we will retain this important service.”
Graeme Dey, SNP candidate for Angus South who attended the meetings held with the local driving instructors, welcomed the news.
He commented: “The original proposal would have meant learners from Arbroath and Carnoustie having to travel into Dundee to have their tests and would have meant increased costs for them and the local instructors.
“The provision of driving tests in Arbroath is a vital local service and I am pleased that there is now a real chance that it will be retained in Arbroath.”