Iain Dale 10am - 1pm
DVSA apologises to furious learner drivers as test booking site crashes
21 August 2020, 16:47
The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has apologised to learners who have been left furious after its test booking website crashed.
The agency blamed "unprecedented demand" for the issues, which began with waiting queues for several hours on Friday morning and led to a full crash of the website which is ongoing.
By the afternoon, the website was completely overwhelmed with users who are being met with a '504 Gateway Time-out' message as they try to secure their test slot.
A DVSA spokesperson said: “Coronavirus has severely impacted our business as usual operations, including by stopping driving tests for many months as part of social distancing.
“Following unprecedented demand for the driving test booking system after its reopening, we are aware that some users have not been able to complete their test bookings.
“We are urgently working to fix this and apologise for any inconvenience caused to those who have been unable to book so far.”
It is the first day learners can book a test since they were cancelled in March due to the pandemic.
Users were given the option to secure a refund when their test was cancelled, but many opted to hold their £62 fee with the promise of a test in the future.
Those who had their driving tests booked and then cancelled were allowed to rebook them from 25 July to help with the backlog, but the majority who sought a refund have today overwhelmed the service.
Many took to Twitter to vent their frustration with the system - some complained of waiting several hours only to be told there were no dates available.
Others who had been waiting all morning were incorrectly told by the DVSA they had left the website and were struck out the queue.
The DVSA said that more tests would be opened up on Monday.