DRIVING tests are set to remain in Arbroath after instructors were given assurances the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is looking for new premises in the town.
Last year a campaign was mounted by local driving instructors and Angus MP Mike Weir to save tests in Arbroath after the DSA announced plans to close the centre on Lochlands Drive and the centre in Forfar and move tests to Dundee.
This provoked a furious reaction from local driving schools and eventually the DSA backed down on its plans.
However, last week instructors were told that the DSA lease on the test centre in Arbroath was not to be renewed with Angus Council next month, causing some concern.
But now it seems the DSA is finalising a lease of another site in the town and could be ready to announce the new location next week, once again saving tests in Arbroath.
Lez Wells, who runs his own school of motoring, was heavily involved in last year’s effort to save the Arbroath test centre.
And he is pleased testing will remain within the town.
He explained: “It seems the DSA are finalising a new location for a test centre in Arbroath and Forfar and we have been assured by them that testing will continue on the same basis of three days a week as it does now.
“The DSA asked us to put forward suggestions for places along with Mike Weir and we sent them 20 places we thought would be suitable.
“We would all meet at a telegraph pole for tests if it just meant tests could remain here.
“We don’t know the new location yet but we expect to hear some time next week.”
There are suggestions that possible new centre sites could be located on one of the town’s two industrial estates.
But Mr Wells stressed the main thing is that tests would continue to be carried out in Arbroath.
He added: “It would have been nice to keep the current location as it had a nice quiet car park. It wasn’t paradise but perfectly acceptable.
“If we move to one of the industrial estates obviously the roads around there are going to be busier.
“But the main thing is our fight to keep tests in Arbroath and Forfar has worked and we are very pleased about that.”