THOUSANDS of learner drivers face long waits to take their test because of a shortage of appointments.

New research suggests in Barnsley, just over 15,000 people are learning to drive but current projections show only 8,261 test appointments will be available this year.

The data gathered through Freedom of Information requests and Office for National Statistics figures found that monthly demand for tests in 2024 exceeds the monthly capacity for testing by almost a fifth.

Marmalade found that on average, the UK can conduct 163,998 tests per month by analysing the most recent data of all tests conducted in 2023.

However, new FOI data reveals an average monthly gross demand of 195,982 learners looking for a test slot, based on demand last year more than what can be conducted.

Chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Loveday Ryder, said: “We are taking all the measures we can to reduce driving test waiting times.

“The work we’ve been doing to date, along with our examiner recruitment, is already creating over 40,000 extra tests every month.

The overall pass rate in Barnsley for 2023 was 52.8 per cent up from 49.7 per cent since 2019.