DRIVING examiners are staging a 48-hour walkout as a new test comes into force.
Many driving examiners were set to join the two-day strike from December 4. The new test introduced this week has left potentially thousands of learner drivers facing cancellations and delays.
Bolton and West Didsbury examiners took part in the strike.
The Public Commercial Service union (PSC) said up to 14,000 driving tests could be cancelled.
The strike action taken was in protest to changes to the terms and conditions to aspects of the new test.
The PCS union suggests the new test comes with a change in working conditions for the examiners. The new conditions mean that the examiners will adhere to a “flexible working scheme”. This means that management can deploy examiners anywhere they choose without notice.
As #PCS #DVSA members start a 2-day strike today over attacks on their T&Cs which could see them paid 5 days' money for 6 days' work and against the badly-designed new driving test. Read what they're looking for to resolve the dispute https://t.co/5tDk04sLG0 #DVSAdispute pic.twitter.com/Frn7y9yBXm
— PCS Union (@pcs_union) December 4, 2017
The DVSA said this was “simply not true”.
Salford Driving instructor Dave Lyson has said ” I believe the changes are daft but they shouldn’t make the test harder.”
DVSA chief driving examiner, Lesley Young, said: “Today’s launch of the new driving test marks a significant milestone in its history, helping prepare new drivers for a lifetime of safe driving.
“Thank you to our customers for their patience and understanding during this unsettling time and to our driving examiners whose commitment and dedication made the launch of the new test a resounding success.”
Many learner drivers have voiced their anger at the cancellations.
Adam Fowler, a student from Biggleswade received an email from DVLA.
Fowler said: ” I spoke to my instructor after receiving this email. She rang my test centre to see how likely it would be that I could still take my test. She was told to rebook now because no one will be in.”
“I’m angry! They get paid to sit in a car all day and criticise driving. It’s all completely greedy and unnecessary. I’ve had to move my test to the end of January when I have Mock exams.”
The DVSA said 92 per cent of tests were taken as planned.
Learner drivers will operate the new test under the instruction of a navigation satellite system.
The independent driving portion of the test will be doubled to 20 minutes and there will also be a change to reversing manoeuvres and vehicle safety questions.
The agency said just under a quarter of the driving examiner workforce went on strike in England, Wales and Scotland on Monday.
DVSA chief driving examiner Lesley Young, said: “New drivers are most at risk during the first few months of driving after they pass their test.
“Changing the test to be more realistic to real life driving will better prepare drivers to keep safe.”