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Plans for vocational driving test centre could ‘help boost jobs and highway safety’

22 May 2024 3 minute read
The Llandygai Industrial Estate at Bangor (Google Map)

Dale Spridgeon Local Democracy Reporter

A bus depot office could become a vocational driving test centre involving larger vehicles if plans are agreed.

The scheme could help boost highway safety and jobs – according to the new proposals received by Cyngor Gwynedd.

Full planning permission is being sought  by the DVSA for a change of use of the Arriva Bus Depot office on the Llandygai Industrial Estate in Bangor.

If accepted, the proposal on a 200 square metre site, would allow vocational licence testing (module 3B) to be offered.


Module 3B testing concerns on-road driving which includes lorries and buses – all of which involve large vehicles ranging from four to 20 tonnes.

The plans state the scheme would also help “meet demand” in the local area.

It also says the provision of vocational testing (test 3B) would “meet objectives of national and local planning policy” and would make “the most efficient use of land, maximise the use of developed sites and support employment in the local area in accordance with Gwynedd Council’s Local Development Plan.”

The full planning application has been requested by the DVSA  – the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency – through agent Ugne Staskauskaite for Cushman and Wakefield.

The submission calls for the “change of use of the office at the Arriva Bus depot, Llandygai Industrial Estate, Bangor, to allow Vocational Driving Test Centre ‘sui – generis” –  unique use.

The plans describe how the site is on an established test route and  already provides “appropriate” internal space and parking.

The site would be used by DVSA staff to write up notes and other admin tasks and one parking space would be allocated for DVSA use.

The office would also double as a waiting room for instructors to wait whilst students carry out their tests.

No material development is proposed as part of this application, plans note.

“Important role”

“The proposed test will start and finish on site and will consist of vehicle safety questions before the candidates leave the site to carry out the tests on pre-delegated routes on the local road network returning an hour later,” the application states.

One member of staff would be based on the site acting as an examiner and a maximum of five tests carried out per day.

The tests would predominantly run from Monday-Friday, between 8am to 5pm, and the DVSA would conduct on-road tests each lasting around 60 minutes.

The DVSA is a Government organisation which carries out driving tests, approves people to be driving instructors and MOT testers, carries out tests to make sure lorries and buses are safe to drive, and carries out roadside checks on drivers and vehicles, and monitors vehicle recalls.

The plans explain: “Testing centres play an important role in maintaining highway safety because the efficient and timely provision of driving tests should help to ensure a good standard of driver behaviour and, therefore, contribute to general highway safety.

“The proposed use will ensure the DVSA can continue to provide testing services to meet demand in the local area.”

“Due to the small number of tests, it is expected that these should be adequately accommodated on the local road network.

“No impact is expected on existing local amenity due to the operating hours of the site.”

Consultation over the application closes on June 6, 2026.

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