Driving test centre shut by blasts and smells set to reopen in months

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Learner drivers should be able to take tests in Hull again in three months, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) said yesterday.

The driving test centre off Clough Road closed on September 23 after complaints about explosions and fumes from the car recycling plant next door.

Nearby workers expressed concerns about “sometimes ground-shaking” explosions – believed to be caused by LPG tanks hidden in baled material accidentally going into a “fragmentiser” plant, which shreds cars in seconds.

One driving instructor claimed one shockwave “shook the test centre...leaving the blinds swinging”.

However, since then Hull Council has been receiving complaints from people annoyed that they are having to go to Beverley for a test. The council said yesterday that it had offered the DSA local alternatives, including the new Craven Park training and enterprise centre at Craven Park in Preston Road and Louis Pearlman Centre in Goulton Street, both on a six-month rent free basis.

Coun Martin Mancey said: “Residents made it very clear to me and colleagues and that they wanted to see the test centre back in Hull.

“Its location in Beverley is making it more difficult for learners in the city to take their tests. Officers have looked at the sites we have available and have offered several which the DSA is now considering. We hope one will prove suitable and that we will soon see the test centre back in Hull.”

DSA area operations manager, Neil Wilson, added: “We are very grateful for Hull Council’s assistance. We are committed to continuing to provide car and motorcycle tests in Hull and we are working to ensure that testing in the city can resume as soon as possible.

“We hope the existing test centre will be able to reopen within the next three months, but as an alternative we are also assessing the sites offered by the council. We have to ensure that any site offers suitable test routes and the right facilities for staff and candidates.”

The recycling plant has ordered a £1.3m “pre-shredder” which should eliminate the problem.

Managing director Anthony Whittaker said: “The Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency are more than happy with the measures we are taking.”