Learner drivers across the UK are being warned they could have to wait until 2023 before there are available slots to book their tests.
With it having been widely reported as of late that the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is currently dealing with an ongoing backlog due to COVID-19 restrictions that prohibited all practical driving tests from taking place for months on end back in 2020, it has now been found that this backlog could take up most of the year before it’s cleared.
According to an investigation by The Telegraph, at least five cities in the UK – including Manchester – had no available test slots to book up until November, which is the limit placed on the booking window.
The publication’s analysis of the DVSA centralised test booking website at the weekend found that in London as an example, there were no slots available for at least 24 weeks, and it means that those wishing to take a test would need to travel to another nearby, but likely unfamiliar, city in order to find more availability.
Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, and Nottingham were identified as other cities facing similar issues snd circumstances.
While acknowledging that some may have to wait until next year, the DVSA did however say that the average wait time for a test was 14 weeks, and it has committed in its recent business plan to bring average waiting times down to nine weeks by the end of the year.
It said it is trying to recruit an extra 300 examiners, and has also widened the hours that testing can take place to accommodate.
Some slots may also become available from cancellations or more instructors applying for jobs.
Edmund King, the president of the AA, told The Telegraph: “The backlog does not appear to be improving [and] it’s incredibly difficult for young people to plan their future as learning to drive is incredibly important to the start of adult life.
“Unfortunately for young people that freedom, that rite of passage is being taken away from them.”
Under the current rules, learners can currently only book one test at a time – but the AA and Driving Instructor Association has warned that some people are booking tests using specialist websites that have an algorithm which is able to secure slots as soon as they become available, which is inevitably making the problem worse.
In response to The Telegraph’s investigation, Loveday Ryder – Chief Executive at the DVSA – said: “We are doing all we can to provide as many tests as possible so we can get our services back to normal [and] I know learners will be keen to take their test now, but it is important that they are properly prepared for their test and don’t take it before they are ready.
“With more than half of candidates failing, and demand currently extremely high for tests, learners should only take their test when they are confident they can pass as this will help them to avoid a lengthy wait for a retest.
“And help us by not adding to the driving test waiting list.”
Kirstie Allsopp threw a banana skin at a driver in Stockport in littering row
TV personality Kirstie Allsopp has admitted that she threw a banana skin at a driver in Stockport after she caught them littering.
In a furious rant on Twitter, the Location, Location, Location star said that she ‘leapt out of the car’ in order to pick up the fruity peel that was thrown out of another car window.
She then lobbed it straight back into the car, at the littering offender.
Saying that she’s been ‘horrified’ by the state of litter across the UK, Kirstie detailed the incident from her visit to Stockport.
Kirstie said: “In the last few weeks, travelling around the UK, I’ve been horrified by how bad roadside litter has become. Why is litter so much worse, who thinks chucking an empty red bull, for example, out of a moving car is acceptable?
“Last week in Stockport a banana skin flew out of the window of the car in front, we were at [traffic lights] and I was a passenger so I leapt out of the car, picked it up and threw it back into the car, the driver just threw it back out again.
“But that’s not how to solve the problem. What is the solution…… £££ fines? In some places police take litter very seriously, I don’t feel that in the UK though. Closing roads to clear the litter? This would inconvenience us all, but would be a reminder of the cost of litter. Asking roadside landowners to clear their patch? What do you think?”
She later added: “I have a pet theory on this, I think a lot of litter is guilty eating, people consuming things they know they shouldn’t, and not wanting to dispose of the evidence at home.”
One fan replied to her: “Ohh you have been to my neck of the woods i have wrote to Stockport Council several times about cleaning all this litter up and there answer was ‘yes we are rotared to do a clear up in May’, i said ‘how about every month’, they replied ‘we do a clear up once a year only’. I just laughed.”
Yes, it’s true – in what is news that admittedly sounds fake, but somehow actually isn’t, one of the best rappers of all time has revealed himself to be an avid watcher of Britain’s longest-running soap, and is such a fan of it, in fact, that he said he’s “determined” to make an appearance on it sometime in the future.
The iconic ITV soap – which is set in the fictional Manchester suburb of Weatherfield, and celebrated an impressive 60 years of entertaining the masses back in 2020 – currently averages around six million viewers per episode, and has developed a well-deserved legion of loyal fans over the last six decades.
And it turns out, one of those loyal fans is chart-topping rap superstar Snoop Dogg.
“Coronation Street, I love it,” the 17-time Grammy Award nominee admitted.
“If they call me I’ll do it. I’ll play whenever they need. I love the cinematography, acting, the storylines and just the reality.
“I’d like to be a part of it because they’ve been a part of my culture.”
As bizarre as it all sounds, this surprisingly isn’t the first time the rapper – whose real name is Calvin Broadus Jr – has publicly revealed he’s a fan of the soap, and even famously admitted all the way back in 2010 that he had his agent get in touch with ITV to see if there was any chance he could make an appearance.
“I had my agent reach out to them to see if they could try to get me on and they said they were interested so hopefully it might happen,” Snoop told the BBC.
“It would be perfect for me to be on the show.”
The Drop It Like It’s Hot and The Next Episode rapper isn’t the only famous name who’s revealed himself to be a fan of Coronation Street in recent months.
One of the greatest and most well-respected singer songwriters of all time, Bob Dylan, also admitted in an interview with WSJ back in December 2022 that he loves binge-watching the soap.