After a long period of consultation the Government has confirmed that the proposed changes to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will go ahead.
The decision to close the 39 regional offices of the DVLA was announced yesterday by transport Minister Mike Penning who asserted that the cuts will save over 25 million pounds of public money and at the same time provide a better service to the motorists of the UK.
According to Mr Penning, holders of motorhome insurance policies, along with all the other motorists in the UK, will now have a quicker more flexible service which will allow them more time to source breakdown insurance, car insurance and MoT services, as they have to spend less time sorting out the legal requirements of registration and road taxes. He said: “These changes – developed after carefully listening to views expressed at consultation – will ensure that the agency delivers a smarter service to bring real benefits for the motor industry and every motorist in this country.”
However, the decision to close the regional centres with the loss of about 1200 jobs has been met with criticism in many quarters, and although some staff may find opportunities at the DVLA headquarters in Swansea the majority will be out of a job when the closures take place in December 2013. Some MPs have backed protests against the move, and staff at the centres says members of the public who are not used to the workings of computers will find the new, mainly digital service more difficult to use. One change in the move that has been broadly welcomed by all is that motorists in Northern Ireland will, for the first time, get the same access to DVLA services as the rest of the UK.