Leanne Wood has said she is “disappointed” by the news that the Pontypridd driving test centre will close for good next month.
The information was contained in a letter sent to the Assembly Member for the Rhondda by Peter Hearn, an operations director for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Ms Wood had campaigned with driving instructors and learner drivers for the test centre to be retained in Pontypridd, rather than move seven miles away to Llantrisant.
The last day at the Pontypridd test centre will be on Friday 29 June.
In his letter to Leanne, Mr Hearn said: ‘As we have stated previously, there will not be a gap in service for our customers during the relocation. A testing programme for car practical tests will be available at Llantrisant GVTS from Monday 2 July 2018. Tests are now available to book.
‘We will be holding an open day at Llantrisant GVTS on Thursday 5 July 2018 where our staff and driving examiners will be available to talk to driving instructors and members of the public about the new facilities and service test provision.’
Reacting to the news, Ms Wood said: “It is disappointing to hear that next month will be the last time the Pontypridd Test Centre will be in operation.
“We knew this day would come eventually but it is still a bitter pill to swallow for the many people who fought to keep the test centre at Pontypridd.
“Many people in the Rhondda – particularly those living at the top of the Fach and the Fawr – have told me that they will find it much harder to get to and from the new test centre in Llantrisant.
“With driving instructors declaring they will have no choice but to charge more for lessons because of the extra travel time from the top of the Rhondda to Llantrisant, I am worried that many learner drivers will be unable to afford it.
“I also agree with the instructors that say Pontypridd provides a more varied road network for learners to become confident and competent drivers.
“Unfortunately the DVSA did not accept these arguments but I, along with many driving instructors, will be monitoring how things go over at Llantrisant closely. We may well be campaigning to reinstate Pontypridd test centre again sometime in the near future if things do not pan out well.”
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