We’re good drivers in South Glos - official

January 25 2019

SOUTH Gloucestershire’s only driving test centre has a higher-than-average pass rate.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency show 49 per cent of all learners passed their practical test at the Kingswood centre, in Station Road, between April and September last year. The average pass rate for test centres across Great Britain was 46 per cent.

Kingswood test centre conducted 2,360 tests over the six-month period and 1,152 people passed. Men had a higher success rate at the centre, with 50.5 per cent passing compared to 47 per cent of women.

Just over a year ago, the driving test was changed, with many observers saying the new test is tougher than the old one. Learners now must navigate for 20 minutes using a sat-nav, and explain how to test the brakes, clean the windscreen and demist their windows while driving.

But at Kingswood test centre the pass rate has risen: it was 43.7 per cent in the last available figures for the old test.

The centre with the lowest pass rate in the area was in Brislington, where 43 per cent of candidates passed the practical test. At Southmead test centre, 48 per cent of candidates passed, while Avonmouth was the only centre where more than half of candidates were successful, at 53 per cent.

Overall, built-up urban areas tend to have lower pass rates than rural test centres. Data from the year to March 2018 shows the number of first-time passes. At Kingswood, 46.7 per cent of people taking their test for the first time passed, with 27 learners succeeding first time, with no minor faults.

Drivers taking the test can pass with up to 15 minor faults, such as not checking their mirrors at the right time.

DVSA chief driving examiner, Mark Winn, said: "All candidates are assessed to the same level and the result of their test is entirely dependent on their performance on the day.We constantly monitor our examiners’ performance so they conduct and assess driving tests in accordance with the standards set. This includes the supervision of live tests."