Rhonwen Paterson had her driving test booked for March 25 but it was cancelled due to the acceleration of Covid-19 in the UK. Since then her rescheduled tests have been cancelled three times and her application for a critical worker test in April has yielded no success.
The 18-year-old hopes to attend Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh to study paramedic science, and is keen to have her driving qualification under her belt before beginning her further education.
Rhonwen explained that when she applied for a critical worker test in April, she received a confirmation email saying she would get a response within seven to ten working days. And she said: “Three months later, I was not given a critical workers’ test, despite meeting the requirements for one. In regards to the cancellation of my tests, I was given a rescheduled date of June 23 in Dumfries, however on June 17 the DVSA cancelled my test for the second time.
“I was then given the opportunity to carry out my test on July 7, but on June 26 this test too was cancelled. I called the DVSA to reschedule the test, only to be told that there were no examiners in Dumfries – for the third time. The two closest places were either Carlisle or Glasgow, but there were no examiners in Carlisle so my only other option was Glasgow.
“I booked my test to be in Baillieston, Glasgow on July 8, despite never having driven there.”
Earlier this week Rhonwen received yet another email cancelling her test for the fourth time. She has since rebooked to take her test on Monday, but this time it will be in Airdrie. And she said: “This has caused much frustration, anxiety and stress for both my driving instructor, myself, work and family – as well as being a severe inconvenience.
“I appreciate that there is a great deal of uncertainty at this time, but they are preventing myself and other critical workers from delivering vital care. “I have been flexible and accommodating in order to do my test, hence why I have agreed to go to Glasgow or Carlisle – which are 100 miles apart – if it means I get my test done.
“The DVSA have been misleading, unclear and inconsistent in promising critical driving tests and action needs to be taken on the matter.”
Responding, a spokesman for the DVSA said their priority is to stop the spread of the virus and keep people safe. He added: “Driving lessons, theory tests and driving tests are still suspended in Scotland, in line with guidance from the devolved administration. We will keep this under review. We are continuing to provide driving tests for people whose work is critical to the coronavirus response in Scotland. We only have a limited number of these tests available and need to make sure these are available to health and social care workers in the first instance where driving is a critical part of their job.”