Kent

Gravesend instructors protest over test centre closure

Dave Bolton
Image caption Instructors said the closure would lead to increased costs for driving students

Driving instructors are driving in convoy through Gravesend in protest at plans to close the town's test centre.

The instructors said learner drivers would have to drive 10 miles (16km) to take their tests at the next nearest centre in Gillingham.

Dave Bolton, the vice chair of the Gravesend Association of Driving Instructors, said about 50 colleagues would protest from 1100 BST.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) said the centre had poor facilities.

Carbon emissions

Mr Bolton said: "The cost for anyone living in the Gravesend area taking their test will vastly increase.

"Not only will the cost spiral for the student but there will be a significant impact on the environment at a time when the government is urging us all to cut back on our carbon emissions."

In a statement, the DSA said: "The Gravesend test centre is an old Victorian building which needs a large amount of money spending on it.

"Both the building and the grounds are too large for our needs."

It said new test centres with better facilities had opened in Gillingham and Erith.

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