Hundreds will have to retake driving theory test because of pandemic, Chesterfield MP says
Hundreds of people in Derbyshire who successfully passed their driving theory test will have to retake it as a result of the pandemic, according to Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.
Currently, learner drivers must have passed a theory test in the last two years to be able to take most types of practical driving tests.
But the pandemic and a backlog of learner drivers awaiting their tests now means that a number of people will see their theory certificate expire before they can get back on the road.
Mr Perkins has raised his concerns about this with the Government and called for an extension to the permitted time between successfully passing the theory test and the practical test.
The Labour MP said: “Learner drivers are already going to have to pay more for additional lessons due to the long breaks in their learning and long waits for tests will increase these costs further.
“To now put them through further expense and stress by forcing them to repay for and retake a test they have already passed is unfair.
“There are already massive delays to booking driving tests and this will just create a further bottleneck in the system.”
Mr Perkins said national figures suggest that more than 70,000 learner drivers could be forced to retake their theory test due to an estimated wait of up to eight months to book a practical driving test.
He added: “The vast majority the majority of learner drivers are people in their late teens and early twenties.
“This group has already had their education disrupted, their social lives curtailed, are twice as likely to have lost their job due to the pandemic and have the longest wait to receive the vaccine.
“This is another example of the Government failing to look after young people during the pandemic and I am urging them to reconsider.
“At the very least, anyone having to retake the test should be exempt from the usual fee.”
The Labour Party wants people to sign a petition at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/558160 to try and force a debate in Parliament.
A Government spokesperson said: “The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and practical test is in place for road safety reasons and the Government has no current plans to lay legislation to extend it.”