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Westbury Driving Test Centre Closes

Today, 28th February 2020 is the last day for Westbury Driving Test Centre. Sadly, the test centre closes today for good. Apart from disappointment, what does that mean for me if I am preparing for my driving test in the Warminster or Westbury area?

Even though Westbury Test Centre was only open two days a week, it was the favourite for many learners from the local area and further afield. The assertion was that it was easy to pass your driving test there. Well, I think that assertion is somewhat flawed. When you compare pass rates from April to September 2019 for Westbury and other local centres a different picture emerges:

  • Chippenham 47%

  • Westbury 51%

  • Trowbridge 51%

  • Salisbury 56%

  • Yeovil 60%

Clearly, Westbury was not quite as easy as it looked!

Now that the centre is closed, where should I go for my driving test?

After the closure of Westbury, Trowbridge will be open at least 4 days per week, instead of the previous 2 days per week. It’s a 10 minute drive from Westbury, so is the obvious choice.

“But, where are the tricky bits?” I hear you ask.

It’s true that Trowbridge will test your skills in areas that Westbury did not. Probably the most significant feature is Longfield Roundabout, which you are pretty much guaranteed to encounter on your test. This is the large roundabout by the Odeon with multiple lanes marked in the road and some (although not all) intersections controlled by traffic lights. The trick with this roundabout is to plan which lane you need as you traverse it, and stay in that lane. At each set of traffic lights, you can plan where you need to be at the next set. If you find yourself in the wrong lane, then go the wrong way. You are much less likely to fail if you go the wrong way than if you switch lanes on the roundabout.

Another roundabout which requires a lot of care is the one by the railway station, with the church in the middle of it, particularly if you are heading towards the town centre with the railway station on your left and the church on your right. You need to merge into the left hand lane before you reach the exit. The easiest way to do this is to keep moving at the same speed as the traffic in the left lane, with your left indicator on, then merge when a vehicle holds back to let you in.

Watch this space for more tips about driving around Trowbridge. Bye for now.