Isles representatives, Beatrice Wishart MSP and Alistair Carmichael MP, have written to the head of the DVSA, Loveday Ryder, to voice concern about the growing backlog in driving tests in the Northern Isles. Islanders have had severe issues in securing tests since the start of the pandemic, with few tests available even during periods of reduced restrictions. Beatrice Wishart recently met with Shetland’s Scottish Youth Parliament representatives who outlined the growing problems for young people who cannot get their driving licence because of these test delays.
Commenting on the letter, Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart said:
“We are asking for a clear plan from the DVSA for how they will end this backlog of driving tests for islanders and for young people in particular. Constituents have contacted me to voice their concern about the long wait for tests. The pandemic has impacted many aspects of our lives and disrupted services but it is really important that tests can resume as soon as possible.
“Driving is not a luxury in Shetland. We should not have to remind the DVSA that the Northern Isles have unique geographical challenges when it comes to testing, particularly as we do not have a driving examiner based here. The current situation and the growing backlog are not sustainable.”
Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael said:
“The DVSA appears to be taking a Central Belt approach to all corners of Scotland, whether or not that approach makes sense here – either that or they believe that all islanders get around by boat!
“Whatever the excuses, local people should be able to have confidence that they will get a test in a reasonable time. Driving is a necessity for many in the isles and we cannot afford to wait around for this backlog to be cleared – the DVSA needs to take specific measures to ensure that the isles are not left behind.”