ARFON Member of Parliament Hywel Williams' calls to secure the future of the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) test centre in Caernarfon reached Westminster this week.

The Plaid Cymru MP has urged the Department for Transport (DfT) to keep the centre open, having been contacted by local HGV training firms, including Carmel Driving School, who say they are "very worried" that it might be re-located to Wrexham.

Mr Williams says the closure of the centre on the Cibyn Industrial Estate would be a "hammer-blow" to local Heavy Goods Vehicle driver training businesses who provide driving courses including LGV, HGV and PCV training, covering the whole of Gwynedd.

This week, Mr Williams met with Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Transport, Baroness Vere, to fight the corner of local truckers, bus drivers and driving instructors.

If the DVSA removes examiners from the Caernarfon test centre, then those taking Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) and driving assessments will be expected to sit their test in Wrexham.

An online petition opposing the closure of the Caernarfon centre has been signed by over 700 people, and the proposal has been met with fierce criticism from the local road haulage industry.

Commenting following the meeting, Mr Williams said: "I welcome the opportunity of meeting with the Minister of State at the DfT to press upon her the importance of retaining the DVSA test centre in Caernarfon.

"From those directly impacted by the closure threat to the wider Gwynedd haulage industry, there are legitimate concerns about the potential effect of the closure on local businesses.

"It is unacceptable that the DVSA can consider closing important local facilities without any consultation whatsoever, when the livelihoods of the area’s driving instructors are at stake.’

"The Minister of State at the DfT agreed to take the matter up directly with the DVSA, and I am providing her with a brief explaining the detail of local businesses’ concerns."