Testing times for learners

Heckmondwike driving test centre. (d14061024)
Heckmondwike driving test centre. (d14061024)
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HECKMONDWIKE is still one of the hardest places in the country to pass your driving test – even though statistics have slightly improved.

In the Department for Transport’s latest figures, Heckmondwike test centre has the eighth lowest pass rate in the whole of the UK, out of 312 test centres.

Only 35.6 per cent of students taking their test at Heckmondwike in April, May and June this year managed to get through it.

Four out of the eight centres with the lowest pass rates are in West Yorkshire.

The UK’s lowest pass rate is Heaton in Bradford; fifth lowest is Harehills in Leeds and sixth is Thornbury in Bradford.

Pupils hoping to pass might take their test in Scotland.

From April to June, three test centres have a 100 per cent pass rate and all are in Scotland.

At Ballachulish in the Scottish Highlands, all four learners passed.

At the Isle of Tiree, a small island off the west coast of Scotland, all four pupils passed, and in Kilmarnock, a town south of Glasgow, the two pupils passed.

In Heckmondwike, out of 1,796 learners, only 639 passed. But the pass rate has risen since 2003 when it was just 28.41 per cent.

A DSA spokesman said Heckmondwike was no tougher than anywhere else in real terms. – and that variations were usually down to economic factors.

Driving instructor Vivien Lees-Hamilton said the low rate was down to geography: “There is a real mix of building styles and we have the legacy of the Victorians – narrow streets, blind bends and no off road parking.”

She said examiners were fair at Heckmondwike, adding: “They are a good bunch.”