Conservatives ‘plot motoring revolution’

12.00 | 1 September 2015 | | 9 comments

The Government is preparing to consult on the “biggest roads revolution since the introduction of the driving test in 1935”, according to The Independent on Sunday.

The Independent says the DfT is preparing a consultation on a range of reforms which include: raising the age at which drivers must declare that they are fit to drive from 70 to 75 years; tailoring the driving test to reflect an “expected surge in driverless cars”; closing test centres; cutting jobs at motoring agencies; and increasing fees for non-essential services such as personalised number plates. The consultation document is scheduled for publication in October.

The Independent says the consultation will form the basis of a formal strategy on the future of the country’s three motoring agencies – the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency DVSA, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the Vehicle Certification Authority.

Ministers want to improve the driving test pass rate, which is currently below 50%. The Independent says the consultation document sets out plans to introduce more flexible driving test slots, with more evening and weekend appointments.

The DfT also wants to “explore the options” for reducing the DVSA’s driving test centre estate and its HGV test sites, with the private sector filling any shortages of examiners and test centres.

A DfT spokesman told The Independent on Sunday: “We are currently considering options for developing the motoring services agencies and will consult later in the year. We cannot at this stage comment on the detail.”


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    Derek, if you find a motoring article somewhere, BBS magazine or reputable website send it to Nick Rawlings who will determine whether it is worth putting on. I do this almost weekly and he will respond with a thanks or already seen it or not this time. Contributions will generate discussion and we should all be thinking of sharing an article or report in case it has merit. Get sending in possible articles.

    Peter City of Westminster
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    Thought it might be helpful if I outlined our publishing strategy/schedule.

    Typically we publish either two or three news stories each day – two if it’s quiet, three if there is plenty of news. All news stories stay on the news homepage for the whole of the week they are published and the following week. Each story appears as a main news item (with pic) for between 2 and 3 days, before being relegated to ‘other news’ (with no pic).

    Interestingly, and I think the opposite that what you are suggesting, stories that attract a lot of comment/discussion tend to stay higher up the news homepage for longer – because we want to stimulate discussion and debate.

    Once a week we re-order the stories in preparation for the weekly news alert we send out for Monday morning. One of the crieria we use when doing so is the number of comments – the more comments, the higher up the page stories tend to appear.

    Bob is correct is saying that the summer months are the quietest in terms of readership and comments – becuase many people take holidays during this period. This will explain why discussion threads have, on the whole, been quiet for the past couple of months.

    Hope this helps.

    Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News
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    Can’t really agree wholeheartedly with you Derek. It always slows with les info in the summer months when the majority take a break and therefore things go quiet. Some of the issues that have recently been put forward have I agree had little comment but many of them are of little consequence and not considered worthy of comment being none confrontational such as the 20 mph scheme which always gets a lot of opinions going and has ben very quiet of late.

    On the other hand one or two items have had very good feedback and dialogue with some over 30 contributions. They may be mainly by a few contributors but they ask and answer questions. Well some contributors give answers and some don’t.

    Bob Craven Lancs…Space is Safe Campaigner
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    Some time ago the RSGB website began posting lots more articles, and appeared to flood the page with them. Further, the articles about which raised the most number of comments are now quite quickly relegated to archive – or off the main page. This in effect closes dialogue, and that may be an indication that RSGB has run its course – at least, in its web page. Comment is dialogue. There is a loss of dialogue.

    Derek Reynolds, Salop.
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    Please don’t assume that a lack of public comment on the newsfeed equates to nothing happening. We and other organisations and agencies have regular conversations and meetings with the DfT on many road safety related issues. We will of course publicise the consultation and contribute fully to it when it is published and encourage others to get involved as well.

    Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB
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    I feel the Independent may be slightly over-billing this, it doesn’t have the air of a “revolution” to me. Last time I looked the casualty rate for older drivers stayed pretty stable until after 75 so I think there won’t be much opposition to that. It would appear the issue of driving test failure rates is not so much about quality of training as people booking their test too early because of the time delay in getting a test date. How the test might be modified in the light of driverless cars I can’t imagine. As to the rest, not enough detail really to comment. No mention of the paper on young/newly-qualified drivers which disappeared without trace in the last parliament, the possibility of a reduced drink-drive limit, or even that in a post-devolution Britain ther might be more scope for some parts to adopt double summer time.

    But if it’s controversy you want, I am happy to support the increase in fees for the preposterous vanity that is the personalised numberplate to a level which will pay off the national debt!

    Tim Philpot
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    This is my comment.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    I made some comments but as yet they do not appear on this site.

    Bob Craven Lancs..Space is Safe Campaigner
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    I would have thought that there would be a huge flurry of comment on this story, but everyone’s strangely silent for some reason.

    Duncan MacKillop. No surprise – No accident.
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