The Driving Standards Agency has said it “is not currently seeking” to increase the number of third party sites that carry out vocational driving tests.

A spokeswoman for the agency confirmed to recently that 10.5% of LGV driving tests were now being conducted at a total of 38 third party sites.

But despite the move to testing at third party sites being highlighted as an achievement in DSA’s 2012-2013 annual report, which also revealed there had been a net decrease in its own testing network of one site during the year, there are “no targets for increasing this type of test location”, the spokeswoman confirmed.

However, she also stated: “If a site owner offered such a site, we would consider it.”

The DSA report also revealed a net fall in the number of driving test examiners employed by the agency during the year, from 1,780 to 1,719. This is unrelated to the use of third party testing sites, however, stressed the spokeswoman. “We have not reduced the number of examiners, but we have not always replaced the examiners who have left through natural wastage due to lower test demand,” she said.

DSA’s report showed a drastic decline in its net surplus for the year, from £12m to £1.4m. Income from statutory services fell by £12m to just over £172m due to “adverse economic conditions”, with a fall in the number of theory and practical driving tests accounting for £7m of that decrease.

The agency, which is due to merge with Vosa next year, will be shedding a further 52 jobs before the end of 2013 through voluntary redundancies among administrative staff “to support our increased use of digital services,” said the spokeswoman.