Derry bottom of driving test table

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Derry remains the worst place in the North to do your driving test, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

Pass rates for the practical test taken in the city last year show only 47% of men and 36% of women passed - compared to a pass rate of 75% for men and 65% for women in Enniskillen, the north’s best performing centre.

Jim Doyle of Foyle School of Driving says a number of factors could be behind the low pass rates in Derry.

“Because of the rural nature of somewhere like Enniskillen, people have a greater access to driving and more opportunities to drive before they are 17.

“The infrastructure of the town also means it is not as conducive to driving as a rural area.”

Mr Doyle says improvements to Derry’s roads may mean the city has become more complicated for drivers over recent years.

“Look at somewhere like the Crescent Link and how that has been developed over the past twenty years. It was once a single carriageway, now there are a number of complex traffic systems in place.”

He says all test routes are based on a system that tries to ensure fairness and says there are a number of other factors such as the high cost of insurance that puts parents off teaching their children. Mr Doyle says differences in teaching methods between examiners could also determine Derry’s low pass rates.

The figures, released to the ‘Journal’ by the Department of Environment show that in 2010, nine of the seventeen test centres in the North had a pass rate of more than 60% for men.

More than 50% of women taking their test passed in seven of the centres.

Derry lags way behind the pass rates for all of the other test centres in the north and is the only centre where pass rates fall below 50% for men and 40% for women.

A total of 1141 men and 1005 women drivers succesfully passed their tests in the city during 2010. Derry also had the lowest pass rates across the north in 2009.