Four years ago, Southend lost its Driving Test Centre under the last Labour Government despite an intense battle by local campaigners spearheaded by James Duddridge MP and the Southend & District Driving Instructors Association.
A few weeks ago, I gave my full support in bringing a mobile test centre to Southend and was delighted to see a letter from the Chief Executive to transport minister Mike Penning confirming that Southend Council would be delighted to host the mobile centre at a council facility.
On Thursday, I was delighted that Mike Penning visited the town at the Tickfield Centre in Tickfield Avenue, the proposed venue for the mobile Test Centre. Transport Mike Penning confirmed that Southend is "99.9% certain" to be included in the Government's pilot of new mobile test centre initiative. Mr Penning also added that it might be a push to get the test centre open by Easter but it should not take much longer than that. I will keep you posted on further developments.