By Adam Wareing 

LEARNER drivers are more likely to fail their test in Blackburn with Darwen than at any other centre in Lancashire, statistics have revealed.

DVLA figures found just 45.8% of the 7,462 hopefuls ditched their L plates between April 2018 to March 2019 compared to 57.2% in Chorley, the highest rate of the six test centres.

Just 39.3% of women and 48.8% of men tested at the Blackburn with Darwen centre, off junction four of the M65, passed, falling 2.1% and 0.8% below the national average respectively.

The centre’s success rate is growing though, with this year’s average rising 1.2% above the 2017/18 figures and 2.7% higher than 2016/17’s.

People tested at East Lancashire’s other centre in Nelson performed much better, with 55.5% of men and 45.7% of women successful, forming a pass average of 50.2%.

However, future learners might have missed the best year to take their test after this year saw a 3% decrease in passes compared to the eight-year high of 53.2% in 2017/18.

Nelson sits third in Lancashire behind Chorley and Preston (55.2%) but outperforms Heysham (49.2%) and Blackpool (45.7%).

Across Britain, 1.6 million took the test with 49.6% of men and 42.4% of women passing, averaging the nation’s newly qualified drivers at 45.8% of all 761,972 test hopefuls.

Rodney Kumar, spokesman for IAM RoadSmart, attempted to explain why pass rates differ, saying: “It depends on the terrain and if there’s lots of roundabouts in the area.

“There’s also a trend that shows those in rural areas pass quicker, while those in city/inner city areas pass less quickly.

“The reason being is that those in rural areas often have further to get to their test centres, and therefore get greater experience of different routes. You don’t have to take your test in your area, but if you go elsewhere you don’t have that advantage of local knowledge.”