A Driving Instructor's Blog

EDIT 29/11/2010: The DSA is cancelling driving tests due to bad weather, as it hits late in 2010. This post originally referred to late 2009/early 2010, but it is as relevant now as it was then.

Tests get cancelled. You need to phone up on the morning or turn up and expect the worst. They will not usually cancel until the actual day of the test – unless the weather is very bad (not in Nottingham, anyway). At one point last winter they did cancel days ahead.

I was trying to keep this post updated, but people are not finding it even though they are searching for information about cancelled tests.

I spoke with the Colwick Test Centre yesterday and all tests were cancelled both Monday and Tuesday. Bear in mind that we had a smattering of snow Monday night followed by -5°C and it was treacherous on most roads first thing, and nearly all side roads throughout the day.

We had a significant dumping of snow last night (Tuesday). Anyone with a test at Colwick really ought to phone first and expect it to be off. The morning ones in particular. I know that all the morning ones have been cancelled already – I have one scheduled for 2.30pm but I am not optimistic. Yep, just got a text from my pupil – the Test Centre has called him to cancel his test, so Wednesday tests are also totally cancelled.

I was up there yesterday with a pupil who has a test next week, and at 2.30pm instructors were turning up for afternoon tests! A phone call would have saved a lot of wasted time.

My advice is watch the weather forecast and check with the Test Centre before turning up. You MUST call the Test Centre (or at least turn up) because if you don’t they may assume you just didn’t show – and that is NOT the same as them cancelling it due to snow. THE TEST CENTRE PHONE NUMBER IS ON THE LETTER OR EMAIL OF CONFIRMATION YOU GOT WHEN YOU BOOKED YOUR TEST.

EDIT 7/1/2010 #1: Incidentally, you need to make your own minds up about the weather forecast. I’d embedded the BBC one in this post, but it is the biggest pile of misleading crap imaginable. On minute it says one thing, the next it is totally different – and at the exact same time the BBC weather forecast on the TV says something totally different again! According to the TV we are going to get snow today – the BBC website embed doesn’t say that, and although yesterday it said we would get some tomorrow and at the weekend, it now says nothing of the sort.

In fact, the BBC weather forecast is not a forecast at all. It’s more an historical record of what DID happen (the Beeb burns its fingers every time it tries to forecast: remember Michael Fish and the Hurricane? And the Barbecue Summer last year? And the Mild Winter we’re currently in the middle of?)

EDIT 7/1/2010 #2: And a test at 3.30pm cancelled today. No tests conducted at all since Christmas from what the Test Centre staff tell me.

EDIT 8/1/2010 #1: Just saw the search term “will driving tests be cancelled on monday” in my stats. The Test Centre only makes a decision on the day – and if you have an afternoon test it won’t make a decision until around midday. They get enough flak from people for cancelled tests as it is, so you can imagine what would happen if they cancelled Monday today (Friday) and it suddenly warmed up over the weekend!

However, you need to use a little commonsense. If it stays like it is, your test will more than likely be cancelled. Yesterday, I had a test booked for 3.30pm, but I had arranged with another pupil that it would most likely be cancelled and they could have a lesson at that time if it was. So I kept the slot filled instead of losing it altogether – and the pupil who had the lesson also benefited.

EDIT 8/1/2010 #2: Further to my comment about the BBC’s horrendous weather forecasting skills, above, and the fact that their last update to their three-day forecast said today in Nottingham would be clear, bright sun – I just drove through a blizzard in Bunny.

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