Hundreds of Scottish driving test to be cancelled next week

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Hundreds of driving tests will need to be cancelled across Scotland this week as strikes disrupt the launch of the new examination.

An examiners’ strike driving is to go ahead after an last-minute a appeal to the Transport Secretary to intervene left the dispute unresolved over a new test.

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency head of driver training  Gordon Witherspoon positions the satnav for Alastair Dalton to follow as part of the new test. Picture: John Devlin

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency head of driver training Gordon Witherspoon positions the satnav for Alastair Dalton to follow as part of the new test. Picture: John Devlin

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union will walk out for 48 hours from tomorrow – the day the new test is launched.

The union said thousands of tests have been cancelled next week.

READ MORE: Three-point turns out, satnavs in for new driving test

General secretary Mark Serwotka wrote to Chris Grayling last week urging him to intervene in the row.

He said: “Learner drivers inconvenienced by this have our sympathy but the blame lies squarely with Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the government.

“A completely inadequate, last minute reply from the minister to me is so disappointing, and fails to address the causes of this dispute.

“He repeats the misinformation of DVSA management that travelling time was settled three years ago. This is completely wrong. Some issues were resolved in 2015 but travelling time was left to further negotiations.

“Talks have failed as DVSA insisted on imposing new rosters.”

It said examiners were being told to work longer for no extra pay when the new tests are introduced. Mr Grayling said in a letter to the union that most of the issues in the dispute had been resolved and negotiations could continue if industrial action was called off.

Union members have voted by 84 per cent in favour of strikes on a 70 per cent turnout.

DVSA Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “PCS’s pointless industrial action – over an employment contract they convinced their members to overwhelmingly accept 3 years ago - will not be understood by our customers.

“We have made PCS an improved offer, to the one they accepted but the union is deliberately misleading its members by claiming the better offer we have put to them requires staff to work longer for less, when it does precisely the opposite.