New premises have been secured to ensure Dunfermline will still have a driving test centre, it has emerged.
The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is expected to begin testing at the Vine Conference Centre in Garvock Hill later this month following fears about the test centre’s future.
The Courier revealed earlier this week that the tenancy of the existing test centre in Pitreavie Drive was not being renewed by the landlord, and it was initially thought that the DVSA had until July to find an alternative site.
Then, in a shock move, the DVSA revealed on Wednesday morning that it had not been able to reach agreement on extending the lease until then, adding that the final day of testing at Pitreavie Drive would be May 31.
Prospective drivers and driving instructors were up in arms at that news, but the mood changed by Wednesday evening when confirmation came that the Vine Conference Centre had stepped up to the plate.
Dunfermline and West Fife SNP MSP, Shirley-Anne Somerville, said: “It’s great news that the Vine Conference Centre has stepped in to save our local driving test service.
“This is an essential service is to local people, so I’m delighted that action has been taken so quickly to arrange alternative premises.
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“It’s important that DVSA now takes every possible step to ensure as smooth a transition as possible as they move, to prevent disruption to testing.”
A DVSA spokesman said it had identified a number of potential alternative testing venues and had been “urgently seeking to finalise arrangements”.
Candidates with appointments beyond May 31 should expect to be contacted soon to confirm where and when their tests will be held.
An online petition calling for the centre to be saved garnered around 1,800 signatures, and news of the new venue will be welcome.
One learner, Karen Stevenson, commented: “It’s hard enough learning to drive and to sit the test without the added stress and worry of doing it in an unfamiliar area.”