Chester Driving Test Centre will move from Saighton Camp in less than two months – but its new location has not been determined yet.

The last practical driving tests at the site in Huntington will be held on February 5.

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) head of estates Gareth Jervis explained that they were given notice by the landlord of the property and the process of finding a replacement centre is underway.

He said: “We are committed to providing testing in the Chester area and will continue to look for an alternative site, which we will announce the details of as soon as we can.”

Chester-based driving instructor John Taylor anticipates that the city will be without a test centre altogether for a period of time after February 5, but hopes that is not the case.

The DVSA has advised instructors that candidates booking their tests for a date after February 5 can choose one of the ‘nearest’ test centres, including Wrexham and Widnes.

But Mr Taylor argues they are not local to Chester.

“I accept that approved driving instructors are teaching learners to drive and not learn test routes, but even an experienced driver would find it difficult to negotiate an area they had not driven before,” he said.

“Learners want to drive in the area they are eventually going to take their test in.”

Waiting times

Mr Taylor also believes the waiting times for practical driving tests in Chester are already too long.

Phil Lloyd, DVSA head of operations, admitted that waiting times are higher than they would like in some areas and apologised for the inconvenience caused by this.

He said 123 new examiners have been employed at test centres across Britain since April and offers have been to an additional 118 people, who are either currently on the new entrant training course or waiting to attend it.