The launch of the new driving test in England, Scotland and Wales is being overshadowed by driving test examiners striking for 48-hours.
And the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has warned this could lead to thousands of tests being cancelled.
But the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) told BBC News the disruption from the strike will be minimal and the union was “trying to undermine” the new test.
Gareth Llewellyn, head of the DVSA, added that it showed a “shameful disregard for both road safety and learner drivers who have worked so hard”.
The new driving test was announced earlier in the year and will include a number of new changes.
The main changes are as follows.
- More independent driving. The independent driving section of the test will increase from 10 minutes to 20 minutes.
- Driving with a sat nav. During the independent driving part, most candidates will have to follow directions from a sat nav.
- New manoeuvres are being introduced. The reverse around a corner and the turn-in-the-road (three-point-turn) manoeuvres will no longer be tested. Candidates will be asked to either: parallel park on the side of the road, park in a bay or pulling up on the right-hand side of the road, reversing for two car lengths and rejoining the traffic.
- Candidates expected to answer questions while driving. The examiner will ask candidates two questions which are likely to be about vehicle safety.
The DVSA employs around 1,800 driving examiners and carries out around 7,000 car driving tests a day.
If you’re new to the roads, visit the Adrian Flux Learner Driver Hub for tips and advice.