The existing centre, in Earls Road, has been closed for months and people – driving instructors and their pupils – have been concerned they may have to travel through to Stirling to sit their driving tests.
One student said: “No driving instructor seems to know when the Grangemouth driving test centre is likely to reopen. It is shambolic at the moment and driving instructors who were advising the centre would be open for booking as of Monday are now asking their clients to book Stirling.
“This is going to put their students at a distance disadvantage as they will not have any knowledge of the area.”
However, the DVSA stated this week the Grangemouth centre would not be re-opening, but a new permanent centre – believed to be located in Grangemouth at Roseland Hall in Earls Gate Business Park, was going to be operating “as soon as possible”.
A DVSA spokesperson said: “DVSA’s priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving. We were recently served notice on the temporary driving test site for Grangemouth.
“We are confident our work with the landlord of the newly-finished, permanent centre will ensure driving tests can take place as soon possible.”
Back in March the agency announced it was negotiating to bring a new site to the area.
This followed the situation being highlighted by Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald, who said the loss of a DVSA driving test facility in the area would be “devastating”.
This week Mr MacDonald said: “Continued access to practical driving tests in the local area is of vital importance to both students and driving instructors, so I am pleased that, following our campaign, the DVSA are working to open their new site at Roseland Hall in Earls Gate Business Park as soon as possible.
“I understand COVID-19 has impacted plans to relocate the DTC, however, for the area to be left without a centre for a period of time is of real disappointment, and is something many students and instructors will not forget in a hurry.
“Equally, I am disappointed in the landlord’s decision to provide the DVSA with a notice to quit their current premises. I understand the need for businesses to develop and take forward their plans, however the knock on effect of their eagerness to remove the DTC from its current location has left many people across the district with unnecessary stress about potentially having to sit their driving test in an unfamiliar area.”
In a letter to Mr MacDonald, sent in February, the DVSA stated: “We want to continue to provide a driving test service in Grangemouth and are in negotiations for a potential alternative site.
“This information is commercially sensitive and, as I am sure you will understand, we are unable to release details until negotiations are concluded. I can assure you the matter is being treated seriously.”