Thousands of learner drivers could face waits of up to six months for practical tests to become available, as further strike action by staff at the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is set to take place.

Around 2,000 DVSA driving test examiners are set to walk out across England, Scotland and Wales this week.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union working in 270 test centres will be taking action on February 8, 9, 10 and 11 in protest against the Government’s “flawed plan” to clear the driving test backlog.

Driving examiners say Transport Secretary Mark Harper’s plans pose “significant” safety risks for them and their customers and will erode their terms and conditions by expecting them to deliver a further 150,000 tests by the end of March.

Oxford Mail:

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our members are already working their hardest to clear the backlog of tests, but they need extra resources, extra examiners, not instructions from Mark Harper.

“They want to maintain the high standards they’re used to delivering but they’re unable to do that if they’re expected to work longer and longer hours.

“If Mark Harper was serious about reducing the backlog, he would invest in DVSA, employing more examiners, not just expecting the existing ones to work harder.”

DVSA chief executive Loveday Ryder said: “It is disappointing that strike action by PCS members will go ahead, impacting the services we offer our customers.

“Learners expect a seven-day-per-week service, and, as a publicly funded body, DVSA wants to provide that.

“Driving test candidates should attend their test as usual, unless they are contacted directly.”

Research from has found that two-thirds of test centres had a waiting list of nearly six months or more.

While learners face waits of at least 23 weeks at many test centres across the UK.

The research also found that 200 different test centres were no longer offering bookings at all.

Dan Jones, operations manager at, who provides young driver training and experiences, commented: “This research is a startling reminder of the pressures the DVSA is facing, and how, despite its promises, it is struggling to improve practical test capacity.

“Undoubtedly, some of this is the continuing knock-on effects brought on by the pandemic nearly four years ago, which is part of why there is still a backlog. The incoming strikes will do nothing but compound the issues at a time when theory test pass figures are going in the right direction.”