By John Simpson 05 July 2012
The DVLA will begin closing offices around the UK from October 2013 after Roads Minister Mike Penning gave the green light.
A total of 39 regional offices will close next year as the agency attempts to centralise services and take more transactions online.
The move will save the DVLA and the taxpayer around £26m a year and hopefully make it easier for people to deal with the agency.
Some of the 1,213 staff affected will relocate to the agency’s head office in Swansea, however Halloween is likely to be a scarier time than usual for the 326 DVLA employees who will be affected by the closure of 14 DVLA offices on October 31, 2013.
A second round of closures follows on November 30 when 12 offices will cease to be, affecting 297 workers.
The third and final raft of monthly closures comes on December 31 with 13 offices being axed, spelling a naff new year for some of the 590 workers who will start 2014 without a job.
He explained: “The DVLA has been serving motorists for more than 40 years but times and customers' needs change.
“That is why the agency continues to transform its services to give customers more choice and flexibility while offering best value for money for the taxpayer.
"These changes - developed after carefully listening to views expressed at consultation - will ensure that the agency delivers a smarter service to bring real benefits for the motor industry and every motorist in this country.
“I understand that the phased closure of the regional offices will come as a disappointment to those directly affected. I would like to thank the staff in these offices who have played an important part in DVLA service delivery over the years."
Simon Tse, Chief Executive of the DVLA, added that supporting staff from regional offices is “a top priority” for the agency.
“We will do everything we possibly can to provide help and guidance during what are clearly uncertain times for them,” he commented.
“We are working closely with the Public and Commercial Services union and those members of staff directly affected to explore all avenues, including possible relocation to Swansea or redeployment within the Civil Service.
“We are absolutely committed to delivering the best service we can. Our continued movement towards digital transactions and the greater use of other organisations to deliver services on our behalf will make it easier for motorists to deal with us in a way that suits them and also reduce significant burden on the motor industry and other stakeholders.”
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