DVLA Set To Close Branches On South Coast

Plans to shut down DVLA regional offices will affect sites in both Bournemouth and Portsmouth.

More than 1,200 jobs are at risk under Government proposals to close 39 regional offices of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), it was announced today (Tuesday 13th December).

The 39 offices are expected to close by the end of 2013 - including the sites in Bournemouth and Portsmouth.

Roads Minister Mike Penning says the proposal, which will now be consulted on, "will make dealing with the DVLA easier and quicker for motorists and businesses".

The Public and Commercial Services union said the news was 'devastating' for staff, especially coming two weeks before Christmas.

The union warned that the closures would wipe out the high-quality face-to-face services provided to the public and the motor trade.

Officials claimed that senior managers denied there were any closure plans after the union exposed what it believed were secret discussions late last year.

Despite a three-month public consultation being launched today, the union said the decision already appeared to have been taken.

General secretary Mark Serwotka said: "With unemployment and inflation remaining high, these cuts to local communities are outrageous and unnecessary, and will further weaken economies crying out for investment.

"DVLA senior managers have previously denied this is what they were planning, so to announce it just two weeks before Christmas is insulting and devastating for staff."