Bournemouth woman couldn’t rebook driving test due to five hour long queue

A BOURNEMOUTH woman said she had to wait in a queue for five hours to book a driving test after hers was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jess Bartlett, 18, of Truman Road, initially had her driving test booked for April, but it was cancelled.

In August this year, Ms Bartlett received an email with a link to change the date, however she found there were none available when she went to rebook.

She said: “I started learning last August so I have been learning to drive for more than a year now.

“As soon as I got the email to rebook it showed no dates were available.

“Last week the system crashed as well and we weren’t able to go on. Then I went on as soon as it opened and there was 18,000 people in front of me.”

Ms Bartlett is set to start a nursing course at Bournemouth University in September which involves working a number of placements.

She said she needs to be able to drive to ensure she can get to these placements and complete her degree.

“It is not realistic to sit in the queue for five hours,” she continued.

“The dates were so limited. I kept refreshing but by then they were gone.

“I think more needs to be done. They need more instructors and more times available.

“I had a test booked and now I don’t know when I am going to get one.

“Just knowing there is none for six weeks is frustrating.”

Ms Bartlett said she has been looking to book her test in Poole but there were no dates available.

The DVSA are currently releasing new batches of test dates at the beginning of each week.

However, they are only releasing dates up to six weeks in advance in case the situation around the coronavirus pandemic changes.

A DVSA spokesperson said: “The driving test booking service reopened for all candidates in England and Wales to book their driving tests.

“More tests will be made available to book and we are putting in place measures to increase the number of tests available.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and we thank candidates for their patience as it may take time to book and take a test.”

The spokesperson also encouraged people to check availability at other test centres, stating if people are ready to drive on their own, they should be able to pass anywhere.

Bournemouth Echo | News