Interpreters needed for 1,500 practical driving tests in Bradford in one year

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

MORE than 1,500 practical driving tests in Bradford district in one year were taken alongside an interpreter, figures reveal.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) statistics cover April 1, 2013, to April 6, 2014 - the day before the Government scrapped translation services on driving tests.

A total of 1,516 tests were taken with assistance from an interpreter at driving test centres in Heaton, Thornbury, Heckmondwike, Horsforth, Skipton and Steeton.

The tests were taken by 764 people, although the DVSA could not say how many times each of those learners took the test.

More than a third - 507 - of the tests were taken at the Farfield Street centre in Heaton, where they were taken by 275 learners.

At Thornbury, 144 learners took 253 interpreter-assisted tests. There were 418 tests with interpreters taken by 159 hopeful drivers at Heckmondwike, while 127 learners took 220 tests at Horsforth.

In Skipton, 37 tests - and 21 drivers - needed interpreters, while the numbers in Steeton were 81 tests and 38 drivers.

David Ward, MP for Bradford East, said: "It must be a good thing to have been scrapped. We are talking about someone who is having to show their capabilities in a UK driving test. It is about fitness for driving on our roads.

"It is a good job it has gone - 1,500 is a lot. It is also an incentive to learn the language, to be part of the local community."

Up until March this year, there had been 31,756 driving tests taken from the six centres in Bradford district. Of those, 13,564 resulted in passes.

A DVSA spokesman said he couldn't comment on the individual figures, but added: "We consulted on proposals to review foreign language support following concerns about potential road safety implications, the risk of fraud and the cost of providing translations.

"More than 70 per cent of people who responded supported the withdrawal of foreign language voice-overs and interpreters on tests. Many people agreed that a lack of understanding of the national language meant that some drivers may not be able to understand traffic signs, speak with traffic enforcement officers or read details of the rules of the road."

Before the interpreter service was scrapped, learners could take their car and motorcycle theory tests with a voiceover in 1 of 19 foreign languages and use interpreters on theory tests and practical tests.

Transport Minister Stephen Hammond said at the time the service was binned: "It is essential that all road users have the right skills to use our roads safely and responsibly. By stopping driving tests in foreign languages we will cut out the risk of fraud, and help to ensure that all drivers can read road signs and fully understand the rules of the road.”

Comments (25)

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7:44am Tue 26 Aug 14

Papa Smurfs Wig says...

If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter.
It's a no brainer in my eyes.
If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter. It's a no brainer in my eyes. Papa Smurfs Wig
  • Score: 82

8:02am Tue 26 Aug 14

Bikerbeardy says...

Papa Smurfs Wig wrote:
If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter.
It's a no brainer in my eyes.
**** right !
[quote][p][bold]Papa Smurfs Wig[/bold] wrote: If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter. It's a no brainer in my eyes.[/p][/quote]**** right ! Bikerbeardy
  • Score: 64

8:06am Tue 26 Aug 14

fedupwiththeBS says...

A small step in the right direction.
A small step in the right direction. fedupwiththeBS
  • Score: 40

8:12am Tue 26 Aug 14

bradford88 says...

Wow how hard is it to learn left, right, reverse parking, turn in road, turn around the corner and emergency break these bums need to learn basic english or go back to where you came from, 31,756 tests taken and only 13,564 passed, the driving test examiners fail you for anything the tests are a complete joke because most of the things people dont do when they pass. But ovcourse we need driving tests.
Wow how hard is it to learn left, right, reverse parking, turn in road, turn around the corner and emergency break these bums need to learn basic english or go back to where you came from, 31,756 tests taken and only 13,564 passed, the driving test examiners fail you for anything the tests are a complete joke because most of the things people dont do when they pass. But ovcourse we need driving tests. bradford88
  • Score: 12

9:14am Tue 26 Aug 14

Papa Smurfs Wig says...

I was thinking it seemed a low success rate too. It looks about 40% or near.
But when l see some of the state of the driving with some l think IF they passed their test and it's a big IF, how bad were the failures? One lot l'm thinking of is the mob that come down the right lane at traffic lights and jump into your lane at the lights. That is just one example of some shocking driving.
I was thinking it seemed a low success rate too. It looks about 40% or near. But when l see some of the state of the driving with some l think IF they passed their test and it's a big IF, how bad were the failures? One lot l'm thinking of is the mob that come down the right lane at traffic lights and jump into your lane at the lights. That is just one example of some shocking driving. Papa Smurfs Wig
  • Score: 31

9:24am Tue 26 Aug 14

mad matt says...

If a driver can't understand English, how can they possibly understand all the different road signs, not the standard 'European' pictorial signs, but all the detailed parking restrictions and traffic information signs for instance.
I sometimes drive in Spain, but not before I had learned enough Spanish to be able to read roadside signs.
If a driver can't understand English, how can they possibly understand all the different road signs, not the standard 'European' pictorial signs, but all the detailed parking restrictions and traffic information signs for instance. I sometimes drive in Spain, but not before I had learned enough Spanish to be able to read roadside signs. mad matt
  • Score: 37

9:27am Tue 26 Aug 14

Gabbysgran says...

Who paid for them? The candidate I hope not the taxpayer again
Who paid for them? The candidate I hope not the taxpayer again Gabbysgran
  • Score: 22

9:43am Tue 26 Aug 14

BertSanders says...

English should be a requirement of the test for thiose who are resident.
English should be a requirement of the test for thiose who are resident. BertSanders
  • Score: 33

10:21am Tue 26 Aug 14

BCFC1911 says...

BertSanders wrote:
English should be a requirement of the test for thiose who are resident.
English should be a requirement to be an actual resident
[quote][p][bold]BertSanders[/bold] wrote: English should be a requirement of the test for thiose who are resident.[/p][/quote]English should be a requirement to be an actual resident BCFC1911
  • Score: 31

10:21am Tue 26 Aug 14

jh137 says...

Cant speak the language? cant take the test. end of!
Having been nearly knocked over twice this year alone by a African neighbour, who speaks VERY little English, getting into and then reversing their car with un-cleared windows (a novice mistake). i am forced think the driving licence held was passed on a fluke or something else ... :/
Cant speak the language? cant take the test. end of! Having been nearly knocked over twice this year alone by a African neighbour, who speaks VERY little English, getting into and then reversing their car with un-cleared windows (a novice mistake). i am forced think the driving licence held was passed on a fluke or something else ... :/ jh137
  • Score: 33

11:09am Tue 26 Aug 14

Albion. says...

mad matt wrote:
If a driver can't understand English, how can they possibly understand all the different road signs, not the standard 'European' pictorial signs, but all the detailed parking restrictions and traffic information signs for instance.
I sometimes drive in Spain, but not before I had learned enough Spanish to be able to read roadside signs.
Exactly. Allowing people who can't fully understand the language, the document requirements or presumably the poor person who they run into, is total madness and explains much of the driving that we see.
[quote][p][bold]mad matt[/bold] wrote: If a driver can't understand English, how can they possibly understand all the different road signs, not the standard 'European' pictorial signs, but all the detailed parking restrictions and traffic information signs for instance. I sometimes drive in Spain, but not before I had learned enough Spanish to be able to read roadside signs.[/p][/quote]Exactly. Allowing people who can't fully understand the language, the document requirements or presumably the poor person who they run into, is total madness and explains much of the driving that we see. Albion.
  • Score: 18

11:55am Tue 26 Aug 14

Avro says...

Papa Smurfs Wig wrote:
If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter.
It's a no brainer in my eyes.
They won't pay, and government support for English courses for migrants is falling, yet the demand for these courses is likely to grow as the number of UK immigrants rises. It's been estimated that ethnic minorities will make up between 25% - 43% of the population by 2056.
[quote][p][bold]Papa Smurfs Wig[/bold] wrote: If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter. It's a no brainer in my eyes.[/p][/quote]They won't pay, and government support for English courses for migrants is falling, yet the demand for these courses is likely to grow as the number of UK immigrants rises. It's been estimated that ethnic minorities will make up between 25% - 43% of the population by 2056. Avro
  • Score: 15

12:42pm Tue 26 Aug 14

BCFC1911 says...

Avro wrote:
Papa Smurfs Wig wrote:
If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter.
It's a no brainer in my eyes.
They won't pay, and government support for English courses for migrants is falling, yet the demand for these courses is likely to grow as the number of UK immigrants rises. It's been estimated that ethnic minorities will make up between 25% - 43% of the population by 2056.
Another reason to emigrate and take my money abroad
[quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Papa Smurfs Wig[/bold] wrote: If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter. It's a no brainer in my eyes.[/p][/quote]They won't pay, and government support for English courses for migrants is falling, yet the demand for these courses is likely to grow as the number of UK immigrants rises. It's been estimated that ethnic minorities will make up between 25% - 43% of the population by 2056.[/p][/quote]Another reason to emigrate and take my money abroad BCFC1911
  • Score: 12

1:28pm Tue 26 Aug 14

BierleyBoy says...

Avro wrote:
Papa Smurfs Wig wrote:
If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter.
It's a no brainer in my eyes.
They won't pay, and government support for English courses for migrants is falling, yet the demand for these courses is likely to grow as the number of UK immigrants rises. It's been estimated that ethnic minorities will make up between 25% - 43% of the population by 2056.
The onus should be on the individual to learn the language. How many of these people had gone through our education system I wonder.

How long had these people ben living in the UK prior to taking these tests?

The same issue crops up regularly in the NHS when the cost of interpreters eats into healthcare budgets.

Same goes court services etc etc.

All part of the last lot leaving us wide open t abuse at every turn.
[quote][p][bold]Avro[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Papa Smurfs Wig[/bold] wrote: If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter. It's a no brainer in my eyes.[/p][/quote]They won't pay, and government support for English courses for migrants is falling, yet the demand for these courses is likely to grow as the number of UK immigrants rises. It's been estimated that ethnic minorities will make up between 25% - 43% of the population by 2056.[/p][/quote]The onus should be on the individual to learn the language. How many of these people had gone through our education system I wonder. How long had these people ben living in the UK prior to taking these tests? The same issue crops up regularly in the NHS when the cost of interpreters eats into healthcare budgets. Same goes court services etc etc. All part of the last lot leaving us wide open t abuse at every turn. BierleyBoy
  • Score: 9

1:43pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Avro says...

Based on the last Census, there are over 800,000 migrants in the UK who cannot read or speak English.
Based on the last Census, there are over 800,000 migrants in the UK who cannot read or speak English. Avro
  • Score: 12

5:37pm Tue 26 Aug 14

awasteoftime says...

Papa Smurfs Wig wrote:
If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter.
It's a no brainer in my eyes.
No this is wrong, they should NOT be able to sit the driving test until such time as they speak adequate English.
It is the same with Local Govt, they provide translations of some documents into Urdu etc., the same applies to the NHS and our Courts.
In these places if the person does not speak and understand English they it is TEM that must pay for and interpreter an NOT the poor old taxpayer. This country is always far too quick to give anything away to people who do not really belong here. If you visit mainland Europe and need any translation help you pay for it yourself.
How have these people got through their education with no English or maybe they are illegal immigrant's !!.
Maybe our local MP can offer some comments on this matter for us ?
[quote][p][bold]Papa Smurfs Wig[/bold] wrote: If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter. It's a no brainer in my eyes.[/p][/quote]No this is wrong, they should NOT be able to sit the driving test until such time as they speak adequate English. It is the same with Local Govt, they provide translations of some documents into Urdu etc., the same applies to the NHS and our Courts. In these places if the person does not speak and understand English they it is TEM that must pay for and interpreter an NOT the poor old taxpayer. This country is always far too quick to give anything away to people who do not really belong here. If you visit mainland Europe and need any translation help you pay for it yourself. How have these people got through their education with no English or maybe they are illegal immigrant's !!. Maybe our local MP can offer some comments on this matter for us ? awasteoftime
  • Score: 8

6:03pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Makollig Jezvahted says...

In the same way that someone that needs to wear glasses for a driving test has to wear them whenever driving, can I assume that if you pass your test with an interpreter, then you must carry that interpreter whenever you drive?
In the same way that someone that needs to wear glasses for a driving test has to wear them whenever driving, can I assume that if you pass your test with an interpreter, then you must carry that interpreter whenever you drive? Makollig Jezvahted
  • Score: 15

6:59pm Tue 26 Aug 14

One girl says...

Papa Smurfs Wig wrote:
If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter.
It's a no brainer in my eyes.
Roll on this government I can't believe we were paying for this if you want to drive here the no learn the language of this country which is English!
[quote][p][bold]Papa Smurfs Wig[/bold] wrote: If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter. It's a no brainer in my eyes.[/p][/quote]Roll on this government I can't believe we were paying for this if you want to drive here the no learn the language of this country which is English! One girl
  • Score: 5

7:43pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Pounce says...

I thought the government had stopped this practice.
I thought the government had stopped this practice. Pounce
  • Score: 3

7:48pm Tue 26 Aug 14

Steve30d says...

Makollig Jezvahted wrote:
In the same way that someone that needs to wear glasses for a driving test has to wear them whenever driving, can I assume that if you pass your test with an interpreter, then you must carry that interpreter whenever you drive?
Couldn't agree more.
Unless eye sight is corrected by surgery

Similar could apply to anyone who had needed an interpretor for a driving test. Pass a competency in English test and such a restriction could then be removed.
[quote][p][bold]Makollig Jezvahted[/bold] wrote: In the same way that someone that needs to wear glasses for a driving test has to wear them whenever driving, can I assume that if you pass your test with an interpreter, then you must carry that interpreter whenever you drive?[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more. Unless eye sight is corrected by surgery Similar could apply to anyone who had needed an interpretor for a driving test. Pass a competency in English test and such a restriction could then be removed. Steve30d
  • Score: 6

7:58pm Tue 26 Aug 14

mustnotgrumble says...

BCFC1911 wrote:
BertSanders wrote:
English should be a requirement of the test for thiose who are resident.
English should be a requirement to be an actual resident
I think if u bothered to look up ur facts english profficiency is essential B4 British Nationality is granted BUT this does not apply to our eastern european guests who quite ignorantly wil converse loudly on any public transport or whilst talking with them.
[quote][p][bold]BCFC1911[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BertSanders[/bold] wrote: English should be a requirement of the test for thiose who are resident.[/p][/quote]English should be a requirement to be an actual resident[/p][/quote]I think if u bothered to look up ur facts english profficiency is essential B4 British Nationality is granted BUT this does not apply to our eastern european guests who quite ignorantly wil converse loudly on any public transport or whilst talking with them. mustnotgrumble
  • Score: 7

8:25pm Tue 26 Aug 14

theoutsider says...

Come on you know who you are.Which dim wit at the Driving Test Centres is party to this complete madness? . Not withstanding any cost to the tax payers you have just put 1500 potentially leathal drivers on our roads! The lunacy of this would be laughable if it were not so **** serious.
Come on you know who you are.Which dim wit at the Driving Test Centres is party to this complete madness? . Not withstanding any cost to the tax payers you have just put 1500 potentially leathal drivers on our roads! The lunacy of this would be laughable if it were not so **** serious. theoutsider
  • Score: 2

8:49pm Tue 26 Aug 14

yorkshire ladd says...

Papa Smurfs Wig wrote:
If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter.
It's a no brainer in my eyes.
no english spoken ,then no entry to the country, and no chance of taking
a driving test,

how much longer do we have to wait until some one sees sence and stops
all this free hand outs for immigrants
[quote][p][bold]Papa Smurfs Wig[/bold] wrote: If someone can't be bothered to learn the English language in this country then they should pay the cost for the services of an interpreter. It's a no brainer in my eyes.[/p][/quote]no english spoken ,then no entry to the country, and no chance of taking a driving test, how much longer do we have to wait until some one sees sence and stops all this free hand outs for immigrants yorkshire ladd
  • Score: 8

12:09am Wed 27 Aug 14

Papa Smurfs Wig says...

theoutsider wrote:
Come on you know who you are.Which dim wit at the Driving Test Centres is party to this complete madness? . Not withstanding any cost to the tax payers you have just put 1500 potentially leathal drivers on our roads! The lunacy of this would be laughable if it were not so **** serious.
I'm not guilty flexi lad :-)
[quote][p][bold]theoutsider[/bold] wrote: Come on you know who you are.Which dim wit at the Driving Test Centres is party to this complete madness? . Not withstanding any cost to the tax payers you have just put 1500 potentially leathal drivers on our roads! The lunacy of this would be laughable if it were not so **** serious.[/p][/quote]I'm not guilty flexi lad :-) Papa Smurfs Wig
  • Score: 1

4:40am Wed 27 Aug 14

Jordan"G" says...

Can't speak English? No entry to the UK! What can you possibly offer to society without speaking the language? This is beyond a joke, no wonder Bradford has one of the highest insurance premiums in the country.
Can't speak English? No entry to the UK! What can you possibly offer to society without speaking the language? This is beyond a joke, no wonder Bradford has one of the highest insurance premiums in the country. Jordan"G"
  • Score: 12

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