doc

LEARNER drivers in the Borders are among the best in the UK, according to new figures.

First time passes in Kelso during 2015/16, at 60.8 per cent, was inside the top 20 of all driving test centres in the UK.

And Hawick, with a first-time pass rate of 59.1 per cent, and Galashiels, on 54.8 per cent, weren't far behind.

Figures from across the country show that men are more successful than women when taking their test for the first time.

In Galashiels 139 of the 231 men (60.2 per cent) passed compared to 108 of the 220 women (49.1 per cent).

In Kelso it was 63.8 per cent of men compared to 58.3 per cent of women, and in Hawick 64.4 per cent of men compared to 55.4 per cent of women.

But the tables were turned in Peebles for the year up to April 2016, where only 36 out of the 76 men (47.4 per cent) sitting their first test gained a pass compared to 49 of the 88 women (55.7 per cent), giving an overall first-time pass figure of 51.8 per cent.

The highest first time passes in the entire UK were in the Cumbrian town of Kendal with a 67.8 success rate.

And the lowest was recorded in the London suburb of Belvedere with only 28 per cent.

Ayr recorded Scotland's lowest first time pass rate during 2015/16 with 34.9 per cent.

Figures also released this week by UK government shows that Peebles had the highest overall pass rate from the start of April to the end of December last year.

Of the 162 tests which were sat there were 103 passes (63.6 per cent).

In Galashiels a total of 387 passes were awarded from the 621 tests during the nine months to the end of 2016 - a rate of 62.3 per cent.

A total of 195 tests were sat in Hawick during the same period with 119 passes (61 per cent), and in Kelso for the nine months there 110 passes from the 177 tests (62.1 per cent).