TODAY marks one month since Southampton’s main driving test centre closed its doors.

The DVSA slammed the brakes on Forest Hills Driving Test Centre in Forest Hills Drive as it closed on April 10.

The government body told the Echo it needed to save cash and the same service is available at Southampton Maybush.

The decision sparked anger amongst learner drivers, driving instructors and residents alike, with councillors and MPs voicing their concerns about the move.

READ MORE: Infuriated driving instructors slam decision to close Southampton's main test centre

One month on from the closure, people’s attitudes have not changed.

A Southampton driving instructor, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “For the past month pupils have been driving from Bitterne, Townhill, Harefield, Woolston and more to Maybush.

“It takes up to 30 minutes to drive from the Maybush test centre in Green Lane to Thornhill. That’s an hour travelling there and back.

Daily Echo: Maybush test centreMaybush test centre

“My pupils are very familiar with the area near home but not Maybush.

“Currently there are no tests until mid-October and this makes the situation worse.

“The DVSA has absolutely no understanding of current population density nor future population trends in the Southampton area.

“Given all the new homes being built, it is very surprising that DVSA hasn’t opened a third test centre.

“I firmly believe that DVSA will not change its approach. With electrification of transport, environmental concerns will be improved, but not the overall outcome of driving to and from Maybush.”

READ NEXT: City residents and learner drivers bash decision to close Southampton test centre

A Thornhill driving instructor, who did not want to be named, has described the move as a “cost-cutting exercise.”

He said: “It’s a cost-cutting exercise by the government and DVSA. Forest Hills is sitting there vacant, and, in the past four weeks, there has been no improvement to the waiting lists.

“I think it is the wrong decision.

“Anybody living on the Maybush side of Southampton can do their lessons there and not be affected, but those on the other side, I think, are being prejudiced against and are not getting the same opportunity.

“It is not going to get any better but I am interested to see what happens.”

A DVSA spokesperson previously told the Echo: “We understand this change may cause an inconvenience for some, but we have worked hard to ensure that there is no change in the number of tests provided to local candidates, and no tests were lost as a result of the closure.”

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