AFTER a meeting with the Driver Vehicle and Standards Authority, Douglas Chapman has criticised the lack of communication given by the agency when it closed the driving test centre in Dunfermline and has asked for a Kirkcaldy based centre option to be taken off the table.

The Crossgates, Hill of Beath and Moss-side MP wants learner drivers from the Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly areas to be able to take their test in West Fife.

At a meeting on Wednesday night with DVSA representatives, it was revealed the organisation learned of the closure on April 12th, but driving instructors were not informed of the news until at least the first week in May - a gap of around three weeks.

Mary Archer, Operations Delivery Manager at the DVSA, apologised at the meeting for the lack of communication and said she would find out who was responsible for that.

Plans for the new temporary premises at the Vine Centre, at Garvock Hill, for the Dunfermline test centre were also revealed as opening days would be reduced from 5 to 3, but this would not mean a reduction in the number of tests being carried out - with an average of 56 a week going ahead.

That’s despite a reduction in the number of staff at the centre as they move to other bases.

Instructors were assured this would be a trial period - with the intention of going back to 5 days eventually.

Douglas Chapman is concerned about the possible costs involved for learner drivers and driving instructors in West and Central Fife if the Test Centre was to be situated in Kirkcaldy.

Commenting after the meeting the Dunfermline and West Fife MP said: “The livelihoods of the area’s driving instructors is at stake here and to leave them in the dark for so long on the future of the centre is unacceptable.

“I have had instructors tell me they received the news of the closure on Facebook or in the local press and not officially from the DVSA.

“I will be writing to the DVSA again to seek clarity on how the service will run from now and how they intend to ensure this does not happen again.

"It’s important for learners in the Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath areas, and driving instructors, that we retain a driving test centre in Dunfermline. "It was good to hear that Fife Council, through Cllr Helen Law, has guaranteed that the council will find alternative premises for the Driving Test Centre to operate from in the longer term and we are holding her to that promise.

“The last thing I want to see is for there to be no service at all provided in Dunfermline and for new drivers to be forced to sit their tests in Kirkcaldy. The Kirkcaldy option needs to be taken off the table and let’s focus all our efforts on retaining the service in Dunfermline.”