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Test centre to stay open in Westbury
Learner drivers in Westbury can continue taking their tests at a centre in the town.
The part-time test centre, which started up at Leighton Recreation Centre in December, has been deemed a success by the Driving Standards Agency.
There had been fears among some instructors and local residents that the access via Wellhead Lane was not appropriate for learners, however the DSA claimed there wasn’t a problem.
Both the Westbury centre and the Trowbridge centre at Longfield Community Centre, which opened at the same time, now have long waiting lists of more than nine weeks for a test time.
Westbury-based driving instructor Colin Gladwell, who is also chairman of the Wessex Association of Driving Schools, said the centre had proved popular with students.
“The new centre has done local people a big favour,” he said.
“It saves all the hassle and extra fuel usage, expense and pollution of travelling up to Chippen-ham, which adds an hour to the journey. It is also easier for students to take their test on roads they are familiar with, rather than doing it somewhere they have rarely driven before.
“Chippenham is quite a tricky place to drive in if you are unfamiliar with it.”
Mr Gladwell agreed the access road was not ideal, but said it was not a significant problem as instructors had timetables and only used the centre car park during quiet periods.
He said: “It is not a great entrance, the road is quite bendy, but the students know you have to drive slowly along it to avoid cars coming the other way.
“The entrance to the car park is very narrow as well and some people drive through too fast, but it is all good practice for being on the road.
“The staff at the leisure centre have been very helpful, as well providing us with some timetables so we can use the car park and not annoy their customers.
“All that’s missing is a coffee machine.”
The Westbury centre has two or three examiners operating on any day and runs on Thursdays and Fridays. The Trowbridge centre is open on Mondays and Tuesdays.