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Norton Fitzwarren LGV Test Centre to close
DRIVERS hoping to take their large goods vehicle exams will have to travel further afield next month as Taunton’s only centre closes.
Taunton LGV Test Centre in Norton Fitzwarren will close on Thursday (August 29) after 40 years of operation and owner Colin Hoyle, of Taunton Training Centre, said he is putting his daughter through the firm’s last ever exam before the closure.
Colin, 52, said the articulated lorry exam that his daughter Becky, 31, a driving instructor for the company, will take signals the end of an era.
He added: “It will be fitting for my daughter to take the last ever test in Taunton as she will be taught by her brother, Daniel, who actually conducted the first ever LGV test in Taunton under the former owner, Geoff Ridd.
“The test centre is now shutting because of Government cutbacks so training schools are setting up private centres instead, known as customer sites.
“Taunton will miss its test centre because it has always been a vibrant and busy part of Taunton’s commercial history.”
The family business has been based in Taunton for 40 years, of which Colin was the owner for 19 years – at its peak, Taunton had nine training test centres across the town.
Colin said the Taunton centre was running around eight tests a week – or around 16,000 tests in its 40-year history.
He said 1996 was the busiest time for the centre as people tried to get their lorry licence in place before new restrictions were brought in separating licences depending on the size of the lorry.
People wishing to take their LGV test would have had to travel to Bristol and Exeter but Colin said he has set up his own training centre in Bridgwater to keep the family business going and enable the industry to continue locally.
His centre, called Taunton Training Centre at the Halfway Inn Pub on Westonzoyland Road, Bridgwater, will carry out the same tests and training as the Taunton LGV site.
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