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13 December 2011, 13:27
More than 1,200 jobs are at risk under Government plans to close 39 regional offices of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), including those in Ipswich and Norwich.
The 39 offices are expected to close by the end of 2013, Roads Minister Mike Penning said.
He added that the proposal, which will now be consulted on, "will make dealing with the DVLA easier and quicker for motorists and businesses".
Ten of the 39 centres include DVLA regional enforcement centres.
Under the Government proposals, the work done at the centres will be centralised at the DVLA's headquarters in Swansea in South Wales. The plans could deliver savings of around £28 million a year.
Mr Penning said: "This is a major step change which will make dealing with the DVLA easier and quicker for motorists and businesses up and down the country.
Centralising the DVLA's services is the first crucial step towards making more of its transactions available online, allowing people to deal with the DVLA at their chosen time and place. This will mean quicker turnarounds and meet our customers' growing needs."
DVLA chief executive Simon Tse said: "The DVLA has been serving motorists for over 40 years in one form or another. But times change and customers' needs change.
That is why it's essential that we move with the times and make the best use of our services and experience to make sure we give the motor industry and the general public a service that is fit for the 21st century."
The offices are located in Beverley in East Yorkshire, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Carlisle, Chelmsford in Essex, Chester, Exeter, Ipswich, Leeds, Lincoln, Borehamwood in Hertfordshire, Sidcup in South East London, Wimbledon in South West London, Maidstone in Kent, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Preston, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Stockton on Tees, Theale in Berkshire, Truro, Worcester, Bangor in Wales, Cardiff, Swansea, Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverness.