We thought we would update you with our progress so far. Firstly thank you to everyone who has either written to their MP or encouraged their pupils to do so. We have now received a reply from Baroness Vere and it can be viewed here.
As you will see, its not a positive reply and a little condescending. We decided, we should point out some issues we felt were not properly addressed, you can view that here.
We received the Baroness’s final reply today, which does not really help our cause, you can read that here.
Loveday Ryder, chief executive of DVSA, also sent NASP a response. She said:
“The theory test certificate validity is set out in legislation and as such there is no discretionary flexibility available for DVSA, DfT or, indeed, the Minister. If such a change were to be made it would require legislative amendment in parliament, and the Government has no current plans to lay legislation to extend it. I understand there have been comparisons made to the MOT extension, but we would highlight that this is already permitted in the legislation, thus merely required ministerial approval.
“I am aware of your communications with Baroness Vere, and of the recent DfT response to the online petition ‘Extend driving theory test certificates expiring in 2020/21 by 12 months’; I cannot add anything further to what has already been said.
“Ensuring new drivers have current relevant knowledge and skills is a vital part of the training of new drivers, who are disproportionality represented in casualty statistics. Taking this into consideration, the decision has been made at ministerial level not to extend theory test certificates and learners will need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.
“Regards the availability of theory test slots this is an important concern that I am currently exploring as part of the DVSA Recovery Plan, I will provide further details as soon as possible.
“I respect this is not the answer you seek, but please be assured we are listening and I am eager to work with you over the coming months to develop the DVSA Recovery Plan and communicate this to your members. I am also aware of the request from NASP for ADIs to return to work approximately two weeks prior to practical tests resuming. This will also be considered as part of the recovery plan.”
NASP has had no reply from the Minister as yet, we will keep you informed as that progresses, however we have had some really positive responses from MPs around the country, stating that they intend to raise this issue with the Transport Minister. We have also had a few MPs just really agreeing with what is posted on GOV.UK
It is our intention to carry on this campaign, however once again we need to enlist your help, if you have not already signed this existing petition please consider doing it now. It is already almost half way to the required 100,000 names to force this to be raised in the House. With some help from you, your pupils, their parents and friends, we could still have a chance to have this debated properly and get the result our learners deserve. We would also advise that if your MP replied to your first letter, you advise them you have now signed this petition and would look for their support when it gets to the House.
Hope you can help, together we can make a difference.