§ 48. Mr. Sainsbury
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he has taken to alleviate the effects of industrial action on the issue of provisional driving licences.
§ 51. Mr. Parris
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make special arrangements for the issue of provisional driving licences while industrial action affects the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre, Swansea.
§ Mr. Fowler
As I explained to my right hon. Friend the Member for Worthing (Mr. Higgins) on 10 June—[Vol. 6 c. 147]—an existing licence holder who is not medically unfit to drive or disqualified can continue to drive for a year once his renewal application has been sent to Swansea. While the present industrial action continues, arrival of an application at Swansea Post Office counts as receipt. I have also tabled a new clause to the Transport Bill to give me power to make regulations allowing first-time applicants for provisional driving licences, who at present need to hold a licence before they begin to drive, to start learning to drive provided they have sent in their applications to Swansea. I intend to make the necessary regulations as soon as the Transport Bill is enacted.