Newslink June 2021

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Motor Schools Association, driving instructors, road safety, general motoring news

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The Voice of MSA GB

Issue 341 • June 2021

As the country edges back to normal life...

Next job: Handling

the backlog

We work for all Driver Trainers. Want to join? See pg 45 for a special introductory offer


02 NEWSLINK n MAY 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Surge in demand for ADIs

suggests its time to

refocus the business

Colin Lilly

Editor, Newslink

In recent years I have focused my

business on coaching qualified drivers. I

have not actively advertised for learner

clients for some time, although my listing

does still appear on Google search.

Despite that I have received many

more enquiries from prospective learners

by telephone and text/email recently,

probably at a rate of two a day compared

with about two a month before Covid. I

know this reflects the experience of many

trainers.

These enquiries come from both novice

learner drivers and those with a prebooked

test. Many of the drivers have a

touch of desperation about them, while

others seem not truly prepared for the

test they have booked.

The only conclusion is that there is a

desperate shortage of driver trainers.

The driving test backlog and DVSA’s

actions to reduce this have been well

documented. The recruitment of 300

examiners will help those already taking

lessons but does not give much hope to

those wishing to start the process.

It takes less time to train an examiner

than to train a driving instructor so there

is no rapid fix to this problem.

We have lost trainers during the

pandemic, some sadly to the virus but

others have left due to financial

difficulties arising from lockdown or have

taken the pandemic as a signal to retire.

The true number of active driver trainers

is difficult to calculate as is the time it

Email update

Our head office team has had a few members report that they

haven’t been receiving our regular emails and updates. On

closer inspection, it turns out the members have forgotten

tell us their latest email address.

It’s easy to forget to let us know when you switch your email

address, which often happens when you change IT/broadband

provider. So we’d ask all members, if you are not receiving

emails from us on a regular basis, check we have your current

email address. Thanks.

will take to achieve that equilibrium

between trainers and clients.

To suggest that we need more driving

instructors would often have been

considered heresy by many in the sector,

as it is a proposal that is seen as a

threat to our businesses through lower

client lists and reduced prices.

This is not a sales pitch for driving

instructor trainers, as a large increase in

the ADI register would ultimately lead to

tears. It may be a short-term fix to assist

the public to get their driving licence, but

the demand will reduce as we return to

normal.

It is not right to direct people to a new

career only to have their dreams

shattered in a few years’ time. The

industry has a history of famine or feast.

The effect of the lockdowns will be felt

for a couple of years, at least. When we

do return to normal, what will that

normal look like? Among the inquiries I

mentioned earlier I am receiving more

enquiries for automatics. It may not be

too long before electric cars feature more

strongly in client’s needs.

We need to keep our heads, assist the

public and allow the process to run its

course.

Electric cars: the right choice for ADIs?

See Mike Yeomans, page 30

CONTACT

To comment on this article or any other

issue surrounding driver training and

testing, contact Colin via

editor@msagb.com

Welcome to your

digital, interactive

Newslink

See a pale blue box in any article

or on an advert? It it contains a

web address or email, it’s

interactive. Just click and it will

take you to the appropriate web

page or email so you can find

more details easier.

You’ll also find these panels across

the magazine: just click for more

information on any given subject.

To get the

full story,

click here

How to access this

magazine

You can read Newslink in three

ways:

Go online and read the interactive

magazine on the Yumpu website;

or, if you would like to read it

when you don’t have a mobile

signal or WiFi, you can download

the magazine to your tablet, PC or

phone to read at your leisure.

Alternatively, a pdf can be found

on the MSA GB website,

at www.msagb.com

Follow the

link MSA

GB sends

you to

access

Newslink,

and then

just click

Download

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COVER STORY

Across the June issue, we

look at the problems facing

the profession as it copes

with an influx of new

learners and handles

lengthy L-test waiting lists

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

03


The rise of the

e-scooter

39

20

10

News

Latest on Covid-19 response

MSA GB National Chairman on the

issues facing the profession – pg 6

20’s plenty says WHO

The World Health Organization has

joined the campaign to make 20mph the

default speed limit in urban areas – pg 8

New warning on smart m-ways

AA’s Edmund King says he’d rather drive

a car with a blown-out tyre on a

motorway than stop in live lane – pg 10

AGM report

MSA GB’s 86th AGM for 2020-21 finds

finances in better health – pg 12

DVSA tells NASP it wants to go

back to full testing

Meeting with agency officials highlights

progress made on return to normal after

pandemic – pg 14

What’s the right price?

Now is the time for ADIs to be bold on

lesson prices, says Rod Came – pg 18

08

Newslink

The Voice of MSA GB

The Motor Schools Association

of Great Britain Ltd

Head Office:

Chester House,

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Macclesfield

Cheshire SK11 6DY

T: 01625 664501

E: info@msagb.com

Newslink is published monthly on behalf of the MSA

GB and distributed to members and selected

recently qualified ADIs throughout Great Britain by:

Chamber Media Services,

4 Hilton Road, Bramhall, Stockport,

Cheshire SK7 3AG

Editorial/Production: Rob Beswick

e: rob@chambermediaservices.co.uk

t: 0161 426 7957

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t: 01942 537959 / 07871 444922

Views expressed in Newslink are not necessarily

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GB nor the publishers can

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made by contributors in

either advertising or

editorial content.

©2021 The Motor Schools

Association of Great

Britain Ltd. Reprinting in

whole or part is forbidden

without express

permission of the editor.

04 NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Features

Keep in

touch 1

Keep in touch:

Just click on the icon

to go through to the

relevant site

34

Rural road risks ...

Young and inexperienced drivers are at risk

when driving in the countryside: how can we

prepare them for the dangers? – pg 20

Tackling the theory

Steve Garrod thinks too many ADIs leave their

learners to their own devices on preparing for

their theory test – pg 22

No tests? I’m not ’appy

Guy Annan hits out at the presence of new

apps which are claiming test slots – pg 28

If you have updated your

address, telephone

numbers or changed your email

address recently, please let us

know at head office by emailing

us with your new details and

membership number to

info@msagb.com.

If you can’t find your

membership number, give us a

ring on 01625 664501.

2

Regional News/Views

North East

Do electric vehicles add up for ADIs? Mike Yeomans

considers the pros and cons – page 32

North West / West Midlands

Confused? This new roundabout on the Wirral will leave

you like that, says North West’s John Lomas– pg 34

London / East Midlands

Looking to help out a visiting ADI – and shooting

fish in a barrel – pg 36

Western

The chaos is getting worse! – pg 38

Life as an ADI

Dancing queen Julie Thompson on the

dangers associated with swerving to

avoid leaves – page 40

Follow MSA GB on social media

22

A little bit of hypocrisy

DVSA wants ADIs to assess learners’ chances

of passing the L-test... but nothing else. That

doesn’t sound quite right – pg 26

Keep in

contact with

the MSA

MSA GB area contacts are

here to answer your

queries and offer any

assistance you need.

Get in touch if you have

any opinions on how MSA

GB is run, or wish to

comment on any issue

affecting the driver

training and testing

regime.

n National Chairman:

Peter Harvey MBE

natchair@msagb.com

n Deputy National

Chairman: Geoff Little

deptnatchair@msagb.com

n Scotland:

Alex Buist

chair.os@msagb.com

n North East:

Mike Yeomans

chair.ne@msagb.com

n North West:

Graham Clayton

chair.nw@msagb.com

n East Midlands:

Kate Fennelly

chair.em@msagb.com

n West Midlands:

Geoff Little

chair.wm@msagb.com

n Western:

Arthur Mynott

chair.ow@msagb.com

n Eastern:

Paul Harmes

chair.oe@msagb.com

n Greater London:

Tom Kwok

chair.gl@msagb.com

n South East:

Fenella Wheeler

chair.se@msagb.com

n South Wales:

All enquiries to

info@msagb.com

n Newslink:

All enquiries to

editor@msagb.com or

rob@chambermedia

services.co.uk

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

05


Comment

We’re getting there -but a true ‘normal’ is

going to take a little while longer

Peter Harvey mbe

National Chairman

MSA GB

From conversations I have had with

members across the country, life is

tiptoeing back to normal for most, and

that’s great. Vaccines are giving people

the confidence to return to the things they

did before March 2020 – and learning to

drive is clearly one of them. While we

have to keep an eye on new Covid cases,

which at the time of writing were edging

higher, it’s good to see that those figures

are not transferring into hospitalisations

and deaths at present; dare we ask, are

we nearly out of the woods?

For ADIs, the end, if it is the end, of the

pandemic is the beginning of a new set of

challenges. For a start, how to get

through our bulging contacts books of

existing and prospective clients. There are

only so many hours we can all work in

the day and while it is tempting to make

hay while the sun shines, I would urge

you to think carefully about pushing

yourself too much. It could be people’s

expectations may have to be tempered

slightly as to when their learning to drive

journey will start and how long it will take.

Two big issues out of ADIs’ control are

taxing me most at present: theory test

waiting lists in Scotland, and L-test

waiting times across Great Britain. At

present theory testing in England and

Wales is working fine; waits are 3.1 and

1.1 weeks respectively. However, in

Scotland it is 16 weeks.

The discrepancy has been caused by

the Scottish Government’s insistence that

two metre social distancing is followed in

theory test centres, which reduces the

number of candidates that can take the

test at any one time.

I have written to the First Minister of

Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, and appealed

to her to address this issue and reduce

social distancing to a metre for theory

centres. As I pointed out, this single move

would allow Pearson Vue to ‘double the

capacity at most centres immediately and

halve the waiting time for candidates.’

Her reply came from Transport

Scotland, which said that while they

sympathised, the First Minister had

indicated that she would keep the

two-metre rule in place for a while yet:

“Physical distancing has been an

important element in controlling the

spread of Covid-19 ... but as with all

‘‘

We have half a million people

looking for a driving test who

shouldn’t be... they should

already have their licence.

That’s the problem...

‘‘

restrictions we do not intend to have

physical distancing in force for any longer

than is necessary to control the virus.”

What this means for ADIs in Scotland is

that the lengthy theory test waiting list

will be with us for some time to come,

and we will have to handle the impact

this has on our pupils.

But once they pass their theory, what

next? Well, it is clear that the L-test

waiting times are a major issue for the

whole of Great Britain – but I also know

from talking to members that it is not a

simple fact that there are no tests

available. There are; some test centres

have waiting times at 8-9 weeks, which

is just outside where we’d like them but

not by so much as to cause concern.

However, it is also true that some are

experiencing real difficulties booking tests.

Some have complained to me that new

booking apps are not helping the situation,

as they sweep up available slots, but I am

assured by the DVSA that they are not

quite as bad a problem as some believe.

Rather, the problem is, as we explain

on pages 24-25, that we are in a truly

unprecedented position, in which

basically half a million people are looking

to book a driving test who shouldn’t be

doing so; they should already have a

driving licence, but missed out in 2020-

21. Those 500,000 people are fighting

with the class of 2021 for available slots,

and it is possibly unreasonable of us to

expect the DVSA to create the number of

tests required to accommodate them all.

So where does that leave us? Doing our

job to the best of our abilities. Life is

going to take a while to get back to

normal after the chaos of the past 15

months. I would like to say that by this

time next year, things will be fine, but

while I know that is the DVSA’s goal and

belief, I’m not going to make myself a

hostage to fortune and say that will

definitely be the case. We still have a

number of hurdles to clear before we can

honestly say, we’re back to ‘real’ normal.

For the time being, do your bit. Don’t let

your pupils cajole you into an L-test slot

when you know they won’t pass, keep the

masks on and the car sanitised, and look

out for one another.

We have some hills to climb yet; but if

things go in our favour over the next

month or so, the view when we reach the

summit might just be worth it.

Key information

Follow the links for the latest up-to-date news on

NASP updated

guidance here

(click button right)

On theory tests

(click button right)

L- tests

(click button right)

Instructor guidance

(click button right)

The latest Standard Operating Procedures

can be found on the NASP website for:

Driving Test; Vocational Test; Motorcycle

Test; ADI Part 2 Test; ADI Part 3 Test and

Standards Checks

They are changing all the time.

Make sure you know the

latest rules by clicking

the panel right

Check the

rules

06

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


News

WHO wants to see 20mph

as default speed for cities

Road safety campaign group GEM

Motoring Assist is calling for ‘smart new

policies and initiatives’ to reduce vehicle

speeds.

Its call came during the bi-annual UN

Global Road Safety Week, organised by

the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This year’s programme focused on

setting 20mph speed limits as the norm

for cities worldwide. It aims to achieve

this by garnering policy commitments at

national and local levels and generating

local support.

WHO says 20mph speed limits create

safe, healthy, green and liveable cities –

and ahead of the event is calling on

people to sign an open letter and add

their voice to the “growing global

movement” demanding 20mph streets.

GEM Motoring Assist says it wants to

see new initiatives to reduce vehicle

speeds and make roads safer for the

most vulnerable.

It points to a recent study in Bristol,

which showed that the introduction of

20mph limits was associated with a 63

per cent reduction in fatal injuries

between 2008 and 2016.

Neil Worth, chief executive of GEM

Motoring Assist, said: “Lower speeds on

roads that are at the heart of our

communities can help save lives.

“20mph speed limits where people

and traffic mix make for streets that are

healthy, green and liveable. That’s why

the UN is calling them ‘streets for life’.

“So we are joining safety organisations

around the world to make policymakers

aware of the benefits of lower speed. We

want to persuade them to act for low

speed streets worldwide, limiting speeds

to 20 mph where people walk, live and

play.”

Tailgaters need fining,

says survey

Almost 90 per cent of motorists

support plans to fine fellow drivers for

tailgating on the motorway, a new poll

by Motorpoint has found.

The online survey revealed that 87

per cent of drivers back proposals that

would see other drivers fined £100 for

tailgating.

The Government has recently been

trialling new technology on parts of

the M1 in Northamptonshire that

detects whether drivers are

maintaining a minimum of a twosecond

gap between the vehicle in

front. During the trail late last year

some 26,000 people were caught out.

Tailgating has been listed as the cause

in almost 600 serious accidents last

year, 28 of which resulted in someone

being killed.

Mark Carpenter, Chief Executive

Officer of Motorpoint, said: “Tailgating

has become commonplace in recent

years and we are delighted to see the

Government finally taking action to

address something that can quite

literally cost people their lives.

“The issue of tailgating extends far

beyond just motorways, and this step

won’t solve the problem overnight, but

at least it is a move in the right

direction.”

08

Law-breaking public will still back

motorway average speed cameras

The findings of an RAC survey shows

there is “strong support” for the use of

average speed cameras on motorways.

At present, average speed cameras are

used on a number of A-roads but on

motorways are limited to sections of

roadworks.

The survey of more than 3,000 drivers,

carried out for the RAC Report on

Motoring, shows more than half (54%)

would like to see them used more widely

on motorways.

Only a quarter (26%) disagreed with

this idea, with 18% unsure.

When asked what form of speed

enforcement is best for ‘high speed roads’

(where the speed limit is 60 and

70mph), 58% of respondents favoured

average speed cameras.

Nearly a fifth (18%) felt fixed

position cameras are most

effective and 12% said it

was mobile speed traps.

More than half of

respondents (56%)

admitted to breaking

the speed limit on

motorways – with 34%

of those confessing to

having travelled in excess

of 80mph.

When asked why they did this, 39% of

respondents said they were simply

following the example set by other

motorists, while 31% said it was because

they thought it was safe to travel faster

than 70mph.

Simon Williams, RAC road safety

spokesman, said: “Despite more than

half of drivers admitting to regularly

exceeding the 70mph speed limit, road

safety statistics clearly show that

motorways are our safest roads.

“With so many motorists admitting to

driving much faster than they should on

the motorway, it was interesting to see

such strong support for average speed

cameras to be used more widely to

enforce the 70mph limit as opposed to

just in roadworks, as is currently the

case.

“We believe drivers see these

cameras as being very

effective at reducing

speeds over longer

distances and

controlling traffic flow

as well as being fairer

than fixed position ones

as they aren’t instantly

punished for a

momentary transgression.”

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

New ways for learners to

stay savvy about cyclists

Peter Harvey mbe

National Chairman

MSA GB

It was great to see so many members at

our Zoom meeting on May 13th, when

we heard from the Bikeability Trust’s

head of development Benjamin Smith on

the new Cycle Savvy Driving Scheme.

It was a very informative evening with

an excellent presentation from Benjamin

as well as from John Rogers from

Disability Driving Instructors, dealing

with the many issues around special

needs training and testing.

My thanks to both speakers for giving

their time in the evening, it really is

appreciated.

During the meeting a number of

members asked for more information on

the various forms which are used for

booking special needs tests. More details

on these can be found at the following

links (click the blue circle for access):

Special needs accommodations

for the Theory Test:

Special Needs Accommodations

for the practical test

Oral Language

Modification

Data Protection

If you would like more information on

the Cycle Savvy Driving, the areas in

England it covers and how to register,

see https://www.cyclesavvydriving.

co.uk/ and to find out more about the

work John and his colleagues do:

https://www.disabilitydrivinginstructors.

com/

ANPR warning over

new Bedford DTC

Following the closure of Cardington

driving test centre, the DVSA has

opened a new site in Bedford.

Tests are now available to book at the

new site.

The car park has an ANPR parking

system so please arrive no more than

five minutes before your test time to

avoid receiving any parking penalties.

You will need to wait in your vehicle

for the examiner to join you.

Currently there are no toilet or

refreshment facilities until further

notice so please be prepared before

arrival. There is a supermarket

nearby.

The address of the new centre is

Bedford Heights, Manton Lane

MK41 7NY

When driving to the test centre, you

will need to pass the first entrance to

Pure Gym and the Bedford Heights

barriered car park, continue a further

100m then turn into the top car park

on the right.

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

09


News

AA president in new warning

over smart motorway risk

The President of the AA has told MPs in

the House of Commons of his deep

reservations over smart motorways,

claiming that driving with a burst tyre or

smoking engine is safer than stopping on

them.

Edmund King told the Transport Select

Committee of the ‘horrific’ distress calls

the emergency services receive from

drivers who break down on the

controversial roads.

Mr King said: “The official advice is: ‘If

you stop in the live lane, keep your

seatbelt on, put your hazards and other

lights on, and dial 999.’

“It’s an emergency. It is horrific the fear

that comes through on the calls we get

from breakdowns.

‘It’s just atrocious and we should not be

putting people in a system that isn’t a safe

system with that result. We’ve got to give

people a way out of it and the advice I

would give is: drive on [if you can].

“Damage to your car may be expensive

but it’s less than damage to yourself or

your loved ones.”

He added: ‘If someone is breaking

down and they’re on an all-lane running

section with no hard shoulder – so

smoke coming out of the engine and a

blown out tyre – I’ve got to say my advice

would be, don’t stop.

‘There is too much of a risk to stop. So

even if it ruins your wheel, I would drive

on to the next refuge area or emergency

exit.

Mr King added it was a ‘scandal’ that

some smart motorways had been rolled

out without any of the potentially

life-saving radar technology designed to

detect vehicles that had broken down.

10

Highways England has promised to

have this fitted across the whole network

no later than September next year,

having brought the deadline forward from

2023.

Huw Merriman, Tory chairman of the

committee, said the promise to install

the technology early was “six years too

late” and he was highly critical of

Highways England, saying the committee

“had been rather badly stained by its

assurances on this matter.”

He added: “Back in 2016 this

committee was told that going forward it

[the technology] would be fitted to all

new smart motorways and it will be

retro-fitted. I think we had the same

thing in 2019 when the CEO came

before us. We are therefore somewhat

bemused to be told this is good news

and it will be rolled out a year early by

2022, when it appears to us it’s six

years too late. So I don’t have a great

DVSA restarts research project

on motorway learners

In January 2020 the DVSA wrote to

MSA GB members to let you know that

it would be surveying newly qualified

drivers to find out:

• if they took motorway driving lessons

• whether practising on motorways

helped to prepare them for a lifetime of

safe driving.

However, due to Covid-19 this research

was put on hold.

Now, as driving lessons and testing

has now restarted in England, Scotland

and Wales, the agency is restarting the

research and will be contacting newly

qualified drivers again soon.

If any of your previous candidates get

in touch with you about this research,

please encourage them to complete the

survey. Their answers will help the

DVSA develop future training and

testing strategies.

deal of faith in what I’m told.”

Mr King agreed, but pointed out even if

the technology was rolled out, there were

concerns that it would not be capable of

detecting some vehicles. “The system is

not perfect and it depends how control

centres react to it.”

According to Highways England’s own

report, the technology might not be

effective at detecting low cars – such as

the Mazda MX5. Even if detected, it

takes 17 minutes on average for broken

down motorists to be spotted before the

alarm is raised.

Nicholas Lyes of the RAC told MPs that

the 17 minute wait was unacceptable.

“We should be dealing in seconds, not

minutes,” he said. “There should be

technology that is automatically picking

that up straight away.”

The AA wants emergency refuge areas

installed no more than three-quarters of

a mile apart.

Moving home?

Remember to tell DVLA and the

DVSA your new address

You must update your:

• driving licence

• vehicle log book (V5C)

• Direct Debit for vehicle tax

• private number plate documents

• ADI registration

If you do not update your address

with DVLA, documents such as

your vehicle tax reminder letter will

go to the wrong address.

https://www.gov.uk/tell-dvlachanged-address

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


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Public needs clarity and

flexibility in EV charging

A survey by the Electric Vehicle

Association (EVA) has highlighted what

the public needs to convince them to

switch to electric vehicles.

There needs to be a widespread rollout

of contactless card payments at charging

points, being able to use one charge card

(also known as an RFID card) or app

across multiple charging network

operators, and higher levels of reliability.

The survey also highlighted the

importance of the public charging

network even to those with off-street

parking, with 92 per cent of electric

vehicle drivers relying on the public

charging network at least once a month.

Gill Nowell, a Director at EVA England

said: “Based on the outputs of this

survey, paving the road for the mass

adoption of EVs looks like contactless

card payments, roaming, consistent

chargepoint reliability, simplified billing,

and easy access to information about

what chargers are where.

“We recognise that the pace of

chargepoint deployment is increasing

and that the infrastructure going in the

ground today is greatly improved from

that which was being installed even five

years ago.

“However, we encourage the

government to intervene now in order to

ensure that all charging infrastructure is

reliable, safe and user-friendly.”

Based on the results of the survey, EVA

England has recommended that

chargepoints should offer a choice

between a contactless credit or debit

card, a ‘universal’ charge (RFID) card

and a smartphone app, that drivers can

use one app or RFID card on all

networks, and all prices for electricity sold

at EV charging sites should be stated in

pence/kWh.

ULEVs top half

a million

There are now more than half-amillion

ultra low emission vehicles

(ULEVs on UK roads.

The Government has pledged to end

the sale of new petrol and diesel cars

by 2030 – and to ensure all new cars

and vans will be zero emission by

2035. To achieve this, it has pledged

a £2.8 billion package of measures to

support industry and drivers to make

the switch to cleaner vehicles.

While still some way from achieving

its goal, the Government says the stats

show the UK is ‘accelerating further

towards a greener transport future’.

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary,

said: “The UK now has the second

largest EV market in Europe, it’s clear

that the shift to green motoring is

accelerating at speed.”

The SMMT says that plug-in vehicles

accounted for more than one in seven

registrations (13.6%) so far this year.

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

11


News

AGM reveals finances in better health

with more streamlined association

The MSA GB 86th Annual

General Meeting was held

on 21st March by video

call as part of the National

Conference. The minutes are

published here.

1. Chairman’s Welcome

The Chairman opened the 86TH AGM

at 4.35pm and welcomed members. He

explained that there would be a number

of polls carried out during the meeting

and encouraged members to take part.

2. Convening Notice

The Deputy National Chairman Mr

Geoff Little read out the Formal Notice of

meeting.

3. Apologies

Apologies were received from Mr David

Taylor (South East), Mr David Wilkinson

(West Midlands), Mrs Lynn Atkinson, Mr

Liam Baird and Mr Garry Duggan (all

Scotland) and Ms Pat Rowell (North

West).

4. Adoption of Previous Minutes

Minutes of 2020 AGM, held virtually

on 20th July 2020, were proposed by

Mr Karl Satloka (North East) and

seconded by Mr John Lomas (North

West). Carried with 92% For and 8%

Abstaining

the year. He thanked the members for

their loyalty throughout the year and

advised that there is a membership

recruitment campaign planned for May.

The Annual Report was proposed by

Mrs Karen Macleod (Scotland) and

seconded by Mr Colin Lilly (Western).

8. Board Chairman

The Deputy Chairman said he was

pleased to report that the Board had

voted Mr Peter Harvey MBE back in for

another term as Chairman. The chairman

went on to thank the board, and

members for their support.

9. Board Deputy Chairman

The Chairman informed members of

the Board’s decision to continue with Mr

Geoff Little as Deputy National Chairman

for this year.

10. Board of Management

The Chairman introduced the Board of

Management for 2021/22.

Scotland: Mr Alex Buist

North East: Mr Mike Yeomans

North West: Mr Graham Clayton

East Midlands: Ms Kate Fennelly

West Midlands, South Wales: Mr Geoff

Little

Eastern: Mr Paul Harmes

Western: Mr Arthur Mynott

Greater London: Mr Tom Kwok

South East: Ms Fenella Wheeler

Peter Harvey MBE

Alex Buist

Graham Clayton

Geoff Little

Mike Yeomans

Kate Fennelly

5. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

6. Adoption of Financial Statement

The Chairman gave the Financial

report for the year ending 30th

November 2020. He explained that the

association’s finances are looking

healthier now than in the previous year

due to the high costs of the

administration office move in the

previous year. The financial statement

was proposed by Mr Arthur Mynott

(Western) and seconded by Mrs Fenella

Wheeler (South East). Carried with 96%

For and 4% Abstaining.

7. Adoption of the Annual Report

The Chairman reported that the board

had continued to meet virtually during

11. Motion from the Board of

Management

The Chairman proposed that Moore

Kingston Smith LLP be elected our

accountants and independent inspectors

for the year 2021/22.

Proposed by Mr Peter Harvey and

Carried with 100% For

12. Meeting Close

The Chairman asked if anyone had any

questions on what had been discussed

during the AGM, for which there was

none.

He then closed the meeting and invited

attendees to stay on the call for a general

Q&A session after the AGM closed, if

they so wished.

The chairman closed the meeting at

4.47pm

Paul Harmes

Tom Kwok

Arthur Mynott

Fenella Wheeler

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NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


News

DVSA looks to add seventh test

as sector tiptoes back to normal

NASP held the latest of its joint meetings with the DVSA last month. Issues discussed included

theory test and practical driving test availability, ADIs observing tests and problems some ADIs

were having ontacting the agency. We publish the report here:

NASP: Representatives from the three

ADI associations that make up NASP:

ADINJC, DIA and MSA GB. They were

joined by the minute secretary.

DVSA: Jacqui Turland, Registrar

Nick Taylor, Deputy Registrar

Mark Magee, Head of Driver Policy

John Sheridan, Driver Training Policy

Manager

Bill Pope, Head of Publications

Michael Warner, Senior External Affairs

Manager

Gordon Witherspoon, Deputy Chief

Driving Examiner

Laura Great Rex, Head of Enforcement

Mark Winn, Chief Driving Examiner

Rhiannon Clancy,

Senior Communications Manager

Peter Harvey, current NASP chair,

opened the meeting opened at 2.30pm

and thanked all for attending.

Theory test availability/Covid rules

DVSA reported that at May 10, waiting

times for theory tests in England are on

average 3.1 weeks, Wales 1.1 week and

Scotland 16 weeks. DVSA said that this

had been flagged with Transport Scotland

and capacity would be added as soon as

they were able. However, as social

distancing remains at two metres in

Scotland, the situation is very difficult.

Discussions were also taking place with

Pearsons to try and add more capacity.

NASP stated the First Minister for

Scotland had announced that six people

would be allowed to meet inside, however

there is no change to social distancing.

NASP asked about the situation with

regard to wearing face coverings on tests

as we move forward. DVSA said this

would be dependent upon PHE advice

and the wider government review of

social distancing requirements.

Sitting in the back

NASP asked when instructors will be

able to return to sitting in on driving

tests. DVSA said that if all social

distancing requirements are lifted in June

there could possibly be a return to three

in a car depending on Government

advice. The status quo will remain.

NASP also asked about tests going

back to full time [even if a candidate

had failed] and not returning early as

candidates still learn from the experience

of taking the full test even if they haven’t

been successful. DVSA stated that this is

also dependent on all social distancing

requirements being lifted and that they

will keep instructors informed.

Practical tests

NASP asked about the large waiting

times around the country and how DVSA

envisaged tackling the issue.

DVSA stated the average waiting time

is currently around 16 weeks, and the

booking window is open for 24 weeks,

and that the pass rate would appear to

be above normal for the first two weeks

since testing resumed, however, there

were no official figures available at this

time.

Currently six tests a day are being

carried out [per examiner], and

discussions are ongoing for when these

might return to seven.

DVSA noted that the Top 10 Reasons

for Failing had received a lot of hits and

had been on the whole received very

well.

Customer Survey

DVSA intends to do a customer insight

survey with ADIs to help them assess

customer demands. The survey has been

prepared to go to ADIs to assess the

demand for lessons, not tests. It was

agreed that DVSA would share this with

NASP before its circulation. PH asked

whether information from DVLA on new

licences is used. NASP also pointed out

that the waiting lists for practical tests

will extend when candidates in Scotland

start being able to book theory tests, and

that currently there are practical tests

NASP asked when instructors

will be able to return to sitting in

on driving tests. DVSA said that

if all social distancing

requirements are lifted in June

there could possibly be a return

to three in a car depending on

Government advice. The status

quo will remain for the time

being.

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available but as no theory testing is

taking place, this means they can’t be

taken up.

Bookings on hold

NASP pointed out that instructors had

not been informed that the On Hold

system had been reinstated when

booking L-tests, and this made it difficult

to answer queries from members. NASP

asked what advice we should offer to

instructors using the system.

DVSA said it was useful to keep these

bookings together to determine the best

thing for individuals, and that they were

currently looking at the booking system

and working on it to decide the best way

forward. This would include a review of

the message in the system to make it

clearer what candidates should do with

an on hold booking.

It was pointed out that the advice is

different for Part 2s and 3s that are on

hold, because these are resourced

differently by DVSA.

NASP stated that currently there are

empty slots not being used, sometimes

because of the ‘no notice’ cancellation

policy, and asked whether the

reinstatement of the cancellation fee

There will be no extension

to trainee licences as

there is no provision

in the law to do so

would help. DVSA said that the rate of

failed to attends was much the same as

previous and there hadn’t been much

fluctuation, and said that the return to

seven tests a day may be an opportune

time to review the policy.

Trainee Licences and Part 3

NASP asked about extensions to

trainee licences as this situation was

causing stress and added costs to

trainees.

DVSA said that these come under

different regulations to the theory test

and that there is no provision in law to

grant any extensions. The regulations

stipulate a six-month licence so there is

nothing DVSA can do; however, the

‘‘‘‘

regulations are silent on when licences

should be issued.

There had been a number of people

coming to the end of their two years in

January-March 2021 who had applied

for their licence, including payment.

DVSA had been able to hold these

applications until they were needed.

DVSA can’t accept an application after

the expiry of Part 1, however, they can

hold it until the PDI is able to use it.

DVSA pointed out it was important to

emphasise to trainees that they should

contact the Registrar’s office early so that

they can offer advice and be flexible.

There is no ‘one size fits all’, no generic

advice and people need to get in touch.

Part 2 and 3 tests will be reviewed in

the light of any changes in social

distancing rules.

DVSA pointed out that the ADI team

are mainly still working from home with

few people in the office. However, there

had been a substantial increase in the

amount of mail going into the office and

asked if NASP could encourage ADIs to

contact the office online padi@dvsa.gov.

uk or by phone on 0300 200 1122 and

press 25 when options become available.

Continued on page 16

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

15


News

Warning as

third party

sites beat

ADIs to

test slots

Continued from page 15

Test Centre Waiting Rooms

NASP asked whether all waiting rooms

will be fully re-opened. DVSA said that

no decisions had been made and these

would be driven by government advice,

however the majority were now open.

Others continue to be reviewed.

Third party booking sites

NASP complained about the use of

third party booking sites that appeared to

be able to find and book tests before

instructors and the general public. This is

putting an unnecessary strain on ADIs

and leading many candidates to accept a

test with no consultation with their

instructor and consequently attempting

the test in their own car with very little

professional training. NASP urged DVSA

to implement measures to stop this

happening.

DVSA is aware of this and discussions

were ongoing with its internet firewall

supplier to introduce new rules to

challenge these sites. It stated that there

is a gradual reduction in the level of

searches people can make without

impacting normal bookings. Companies

are constantly finding ways round any

blocks DVSA implements to get tests.

DVSA also pointed out that some

instructors may be mis-using and if that

was found to be true, the Registrar could

take some action.

NASP requested that DVSA issue

communications to explain the situation

to instructors.

B+E test allocations

NASP had raised a complaint around

the allocation of B+E tests and asked if

it was an individual issue or more

general. Smaller trainers had a

perception that they are being overlooked

in favour of the large companies for tests.

DVSA replied that allocations are

spread among trainers and that currently

demand is very high, with B+E

16

competing with other vocational tests. As

the tests increase it should help ease the

situation and that the trainer booking

system sends requests to DVSA.

Electric vehicles

NASP asked about plans to

accommodate electric vehicles and

whether any consideration was being

given to how DVSA will work with them

in future.

DVSA noted that the review to their

five-year strategy will include looking at

the short term and longer-term situation

regarding new technology.

NASP pointed to a gradual swing in

demand towards automatic lessons,

however, instructors invest a lot of money

in their cars and, understandably, are

reluctant to invest in new ones when

they don’t really know where the future

lies. NASP asked whether there was any

different Show me/Tell me questions

being considered to keep up with the

new technology and any new training

instructors would need to consider.

DVSA said that they were already

seeing an influx of electric and hybrid

vehicles, with a shift towards retarding/

deceleration on electric vehicles to the

point where it becomes braking with

lights showing at the rear. These are

acceptable for use on test and technical

updates are given to driving examiners.

The use of reversing cameras is

acceptable on test (with appropriate

observations), but self-parking cars are

‘‘

The DVSA’s review of its five-year

strategy will include looking at the

short-term and longer-term situation

regarding electric vehicles

‘‘‘‘‘‘

still not, although it will come in the

future.

DVSA will keep abreast of new

developments and allow them at the

right time. It would be useful to have

information from instructors on when

they would be likely to invest in the new

technology.

NASP asked whether there would

come a time when DVSA would stop

allowing diesels on tests. DVSA replied,

that this was already impacting at test

centres in the LEZ in London, and

schools were upgrading their fleet.

Communications

NASP raised concern about some

situations where poor communication

from DVSA had made it difficult to keep

instructors updated. One incident had

been a situation where an MPTC had not

had toilets open for candidates but there

had been no communications to make

people aware and it took a long time to

get answers. DVSA apologised for this

and would look into what had gone

wrong on this occasion.

DVSA said the aim was slicker

communications, that instructors would

be sent targeted comms, and that there

were investigations when things didn’t

work as they should.

NASP accepted that and pointed out

that when associations initiate a

complaint it’s important that we receive

information to pass back to members as

soon as possible to allow them to give a

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


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proper service to their customers.

Another issue highlighted where no reply

had been received regarded a number of

tests being cancelled and rearranged in

the Taunton area, with nothing more

than an email stating the examiner was

no longer available. This is really unfair

when these candidates have had their

tests moved several times.

DVSA said they had checked and at

the moment, the test centre in question

seemed to be operating fine but would

look into the issue a bit further.

However they were trying to avoid

cancellations in order to run as smoothly

as possible.

Standards Checks

NASP asked if there was any new

information regarding how Standards

Checks would be conducted as there had

been further rumours of changes.

DVSA replied, there would be an

update going to all instructors regarding

Standards Checks in the near future.

The engagement calls from the

enforcement officer conducting the test,

recently introduced, would help to put

people in a good position for their

Standards Check.

Are smaller scale

trainers being pushed

out of B+ E testing?

Recruitment of examiners

DVSA received 5,000 applications to

the initial campaign and the process

continued. If they do not get enough

suitable applications after the first trawl

they would do a second campaign.

NASP asked how many examiners they

were looking to take on to help solve the

exceptionally long waiting times. DVSA

have advised that they are in the process

of recruiting around 300 additional

examiners.

Safe Driving for Life website

NASP suggested that the early launch

of the website’s upgrade was premature

as a lot of the included material was

outdated and asked if we could view the

pages and offer updates. DVSA agreed.

DVSA stated the site would develop

further with the help of instructors and

learners and hoped the full launch would

be within the next month.

PH closed the meeting at 4.30pm and

thanked everyone for attending.

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

17


Comment

What’s the right price for a

driving lesson in 2021?

Rod Came

MSA GB South East

You are an ADI, let me ask you a

question – why do you work? The

answer is, of course, the same for

99.9 per cent of people: to earn a

living, in other words, to make money.

If you had unlimited means would you

still go out six days a week providing

driving lessons? Unlike the lotterywinning

pig swill operative who will keep

working because he doesn’t want to let

his pigs down, your answer is almost

certainly ‘no’.

There are only three ways for a

self-employed individual, which most

ADIs are, to be able to make money.

They are:

1. To make a small amount of money

from a lot of sales

2. To make a lot of money from a few

sales

3. To make a lot of money from a lot of

sales.

Supermarkets tend to follow the first

– small returns on many sales. Bespoke

retail outlets use the second method,

charging high prices for limited sales.

The really successful people use the

third method, high prices and high sales

figures. Unfortunately, as ADIs, this

method is not available to us, so it is a

choice between Methods 1 and 2.

Over decades before Covid, too many

ADIs opted for Method 1, which meant

providing 50/60 lessons a week at the

cheapest price possible. They had to be

cheap to keep the numbers up, thinking

that because they were busy this

equated to being successful.

Depending on how you measure

success depends whether you think you

are successful or not. Job satisfaction

may exceed the desire for financial gain.

However, most ADIs I know have a

combination of a partner, children and a

mortgage, all of which need a steady

supply of money, so for a relaxed home

life, Method 2 has its attractions.

But circumstances change. Nobody

could have forecast that the whole

country would be effectively shut down

for 12 months, that ADIs would not be

able to work at their chosen occupation,

thereby suffering a substantial loss of

income. It was beyond imagination that

what we have endured would almost

start to seem a normal way of life.

It is said that every cloud has a silver

lining and perversely the lockdown has

provided an opportunity for ADIs.

This industry has been bedevilled by

those who see it as a temporary

occupation between proper jobs. Such

people have always thought that there is

an unlimited supply of teenagers just

bursting to learn to drive and they want

some of that goldmine; unfortunately, a

little research would have shown that it

is not so.

Every business needs a USP, a unique

selling point, and the only USP that

many trainees on a pink ticket and new

ADIs can provide is to charge less than

the established players, thus holding

lesson prices down in a local area to the

detriment of all. It has always been so.

Now times have changed. There is a

surplus of potential learner drivers. ADIs

who have never had a waiting list are

seeing a whole new phenomenon. All of

a sudden it is a seller’s market due to a

lack of ADIs against the demand for

lessons.

Now is the time to re-align lesson

prices and raise them to a level where a

comfortable way of life can be enjoyed

by the provider. So how much is a

reasonable price for a one hour driving

lesson?

It would be illegal for a group of ADIs,

be that local or national, to form a cartel

and agree a set price for lessons.

Anyway, that would not work because

the figure would be too high for some

and too low for others. So each must

choose their own.

Historically, for many that has been

determined by the prices of the cheapest,

which has kept down the prices of the

majority with only a few deciding to charge

what they think they are worth. Maybe I

am wrong there, perhaps the cheapest are

charging what they are worth!

Recently I had a local plumber free off

a seized water tap in the village hall.

After he had done the job he charged

£45 + VAT = £54. It took him 15

minutes. Now that is a rip-off, but for an

hour without the VAT I think it’s

reasonable. Perhaps that is what good

ADIs should be charging. What do you

think? Replies to MSA GB Newslink.

Prices: What’s your view?

What should ADIs be charging? Is it

time, as Rod suggests, to put prices

up in the face of huge demand, or

does that feel like opportunism?

Click here to email the editor

and let us know your

charging plans

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Reminder: what to expect on test

Some points to remember before taking

pupils for their L-test:

n All examiners will be masked throughout

the test.

n Waiting rooms are for ADIs only. Please

do not arrive more than five minutes before

the test time.

n You must clean the inside of your car

before your test. This means tidying any

unnecessary items away from the

dashboard, footwells, door pockets, cup

holders and seats, and wiping down the

dashboard and car controls. The examiner

will do an additional clean of some surfaces.

Examiners can refuse to take a car out on

test if they deem it to be unsanitary.

n The car you use for your test must have

at least one window open on each side

throughout the test. Candidates must wear

appropriate clothing for the test, including a

face covering.

n ADIs will not be able to accompany the

L-test. However, they are encouraged to

attend the post-test debrief, which will take

place outside the car. Please remember to

social distance if attending this.

Click here for

all the details

WAITING ROOMS

The vast majority of driving

test centre waiting rooms

have been reopened.

The link below gives the

latest information - though

the DVSA has not updated

this since April 22, at the time

of publishing

Click here for

the full list

Failure to wear

seatbelt needs

points sanction

Road safety and breakdown

organisation GEM Motoring Assist is

calling on the UK Government to

honour the commitment made in its

most recent road safety action plan

and increase the penalty for drivers

and passengers who do not wear a

seatbelt on road journeys.

In the plan, launched in July 2019,

the Government said it would make

seatbelt offences endorsable, meaning

people caught not wearing a seatbelt

would face penalty points on their

licence as well as a fine.

The offence has long been

endorsable in Northern Ireland, where

drivers who fail to ensure a child in a

front or rear seat is not wearing a

seatbelt also face points on their

licence. However, these tougher

sanctions do not apply in England,

Scotland or Wales.

GEM chief executive Neil Worth

commented: “Official figures show that

despite compliance rates of 98.6 per

cent among car drivers, 27% of those

killed in cars were not wearing a seat

belt – more than 200 deaths.

“Seatbelts reduce the risk of death

by 45 per cent for drivers and front

seat occupants. They also reduce the

risk of serious injury by 50 per cent.

“We have seen mobile phone

penalties for drivers rise in recent

years, and if seatbelt offences were

dealt with in a similar way, we believe

would see a significant and immediate

reduction in the number of drivers and

vehicle occupants killed and seriously

injured on our roads.”

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

19


Towards your CPD: Rural roads

Inexperienced drivers

face rural risks that

need careful handling

Rod Came

MSA GB South East

The AA Charitable Trust has

produced a comprehensive report

relating to the risks encountered

by young (17 to 24 year old)

drivers on rural roads.

Nearly 75,000 crashes were looked at

from 2013 to 2018, to provide evidence

for a new campaign by the AA to

improve the skills of new drivers on rural

roads.

As with all reports of this nature it is

full of facts and figures, interactive maps,

graphs and pie charts. It identifies the

problems but does not suggest any

remedies. Perhaps they are to come in a

further publication.

As always, speed is identified as a

major contributory cause for crashes. As

soon as speed is mentioned people

immediately think of vehicles travelling at

80 mph, but it is not necessarily so. As

ADIs we know that it is inappropriate

speed that is the problem.

Rural roads are quite different to urban

driving. In town it is often a case of

follow the leader; in the countryside

when the traffic is light a driver has to

make their own decisions. How sharp is

this bend? What speed would be best? Is

there likely to be something in the way

round the bend? Is the road dry, wet,

slippery? Observation and anticipation

come to the fore.

Not all drivers in the category being

considered get in their cars and intend to

drive like a lunatic. Some do want to

take risks even before they get in the

vehicle. They decide to drive when they

are tired, over the drink/drug drive limit,

or angry. They know they are about to do

something that is intentionally wrong but

they don’t care.

The majority leave home and will drive

sensibly. However, we all make mistakes

regardless of experience and level of

expertise. Unsurprisingly the statistics

show that of the 17 – 24 age group,

17-year-olds are the most vulnerable and

the number of traffic incidents decreases

as age/experience increases.

We all know that when a driving

incident happens it can cause a bit of a

panic in us, so we file it away in the

back of our minds, which may remind us

not to do it again – that’s experience.

The majority of rural road crashes

involve a single vehicle and a bend. I

would guess more right-hand bends than

left hand, but this is not certain.

What leads up to a car going off the

road? Imagine a young driver with

minimal experience is travelling at a

reasonable speed along a road toward a

right-hand bend in fourth gear. They

enter the bend under control but find that

it starts to tighten up. They brake – it is

the natural action to take – ‘too fast,

brake to slow down’. ERROR!

By braking a lot of the weight of the

vehicle is transferred to the front nearside

wheel, leaving each of the other tyres

with less grip on the road surface. This

unbalances the car, and the front left

wheel is now pulling the car toward the

grass verge. As soon as it is on the grass

the driver loses steering control and the

car will head away from the road toward

the nearest tree. It is the impact with the

tree that causes injuries. Watch Formula

1 race car drivers, as soon as they leave

the tarmac of the track they usually head

straight for the crash barriers, they have

no control of the speed or direction of the

car.

Similarly, if it is a left-hand bend

braking tends to pull the car across the

road into the path of the opposing traffic

with obvious disastrous results.

But there is a way of avoiding such

incidents: it is to accelerate. By doing so

the centre of gravity moves more toward

the centre of the vehicle, all four tyres

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grip the road more firmly and the driver

retains control. But that is counterintuitive:

pupils have to be trained to

accelerate rather than brake.

In Ashford, Kent, there is a clover leaf

intersection under a dual carriageway that

is ideal for practising this manoeuvre. The

driver comes off a roundabout into a long,

lazy right-hand bend where they get up to

a reasonable speed, the road then

switches to a left-hand bend which

tightens up before they arrive at the

on-slip to the dual carriageway.

Obviously they are going a bit fast for

the left hander and want to brake, but

persuading them to keep their foot on the

accelerator, possibly even down to the

floor, means that they retain full control

and also are travelling at a suitable speed

to join the 70 mph dual carriageway. I’ll

admit to takes practice.

Modern cars, even those 10-12 years

old, will corner at ridiculous speeds if the

power is kept on. Braking can be fatal.

It is unwise to practise such a

manoeuvre on a public two-way road

because of the inherent danger. The clover

leaf intersection carries some risk but in

reality, the learner driver will not be going

fast enough to lose control and if they

were to, there is a crash barrier waiting

for them.

The other driving error that can be

tragic is when overtaking goes wrong.

Doing so on a motorway or dual

carriageway does not carry too much risk,

on a two-way road it is totally different –

and as ADIs we find very few circumstances

where our learners can practise it.

Sometimes we can be lucky, like

following a truck into a right-hand bend

followed by a long straight with no

driveways or side roads or approaching

traffic. You’ve primed them up, they are in

third gear round the bend and know what

they are expected to do. Both they and

the ADI get a view down the offside of the

truck, it is clear, mirror check, signal and

go. Don’t change gear, the car will do

60+ mph in third gear, but the driver will

want to change up because it is noisy; I

find my hand on the gear lever deters

them.

Unfortunately, it is a rare occurrence to

find a vehicle going slow enough to be

overtaken with no opposing traffic on a

suitable stretch of road. Often the pupils

pass their driving test without ever having

overtaken on a two-way road. They do

after they have passed but that is when it

can go wrong.

There are, of course, other hazards on

rural roads, too many to mention, which

drivers can encounter.

‘‘

Although both faults are

relatively easy to identify,

they are not always so easy

to analyse, because they can

often be to do with a lack of

confidence...

‘‘

A couple of lessons on rural roads for

urban drivers are unlikely to mean that

they will come across many of them, or

any at all. Unfortunately, it will become

part of their after-test learning curve,

unless they can be persuaded to have

further training.

If the AA Charitable Trust, any other

driving body, or ADIs can come up with

an answer to the eternal question as to

how we can teach young drivers to be

safe on the road, I would like to hear it.

70,000 crashes

in six years

New research from the AA, funded

by the Road Safety Trust, looked at

more than 70,000 young drivers

involved in crashes on rural roads

over six years and found:

• 71% of fatal crashes involving

young drivers are on rural roads.

• Young drivers over-represented

in rural crashes by 9%.

• Rural crash risk varies by time of

day and day of week.

• Single vehicle rural crash risk

varies depending on weather

conditions.

• Substance impairment is more

likely to be a contributory factor on

Sundays and in the early hours.

The worst rural roads for young

drivers are the A229 in Kent (by

collision density) and the A6076 in

County Durham (as a percentage of

all crashes).

These two are followed by the A2

(also Kent), the A3 in Surrey, the A1

in Herts and the A243 (Surrey) for

collision density, and the A704 in

West Lothian, the A419 in Gloucestershire

the A388 in Cornwall and

the A41 in Herts for percentage of

all crashes (relative risk).

The AA has said that data from its

new interactive map, which

highlights the ‘riskiest’ rural roads for

young drivers, highlight those roads

which appear to pose the greatest

risk.

Charitable Trust director Edmund

King AA said: “This ground-breaking

analysis shows, for the first time, the

most dangerous rural roads for young

drivers as well as an in-depth study

of contributory factors involved in

those crashes.

“Many young drivers and indeed

parents are unaware that rural roads

pose a specific and significant risk to

young drivers and potentially are

much more dangerous than

motorways or urban roads.

“The research should help target

driver education at the times and

places young drivers are most at

risk.”

Click HERE to see the interactve

map; it’s well worth a look and

would be useful to signpost to your

pupils to highlight the rural road

risk.

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

21


Towards Your CPD: Theory tuition

Don’t leave your pupils tackling

the theory on their own

Even the most conscientious

ADIs can often leave their

pupils to get on with learning

their theory on their own,

having an interest in their

progress only when they

pass. That’s a chance missed

to embed some key road

safety lessons, says

Steve Garrod

Dealing with theory is an

essential part of an ADI’s role,

but many learners are left to

their own ways of learning it.

Many feel they can achieve it

by downloading the practice tests but it

appears that quite a few try to memorise

the questions without understanding how

it links to the practical training, with

disappointing results.

I recently worked in a Further Education

College and was surprised at how many

young drivers openly admitted to failing

their theory test again and again. Some

have had 10 goes without success. They

seem to feel that they can pass on good

attendance or that somehow they will get

the exact theory test they have been

practising on their phones.

Relying on practice tests does not help

students learn the theory in context.

Many learners never pick up a Highway

Code (or look at the online version),

which is often to their disadvantage. In

fact, many pupils do not know how to

learn for themselves.

There are many very good online

programmes that have the theory broken

down into individual headings, such as

motorways; vulnerable road users and

road and traffic signs, but it is important

to understand the terminology used in

the questions. This can be improved by

reading more about the subject in the

Highway Code, but better still, via

22

discussion with their instructor.

For example, there is a question that

reads, “You are waiting to emerge at a

junction at night; how would you prevent

dazzling following drivers?” This is quite

a complex question for a native English

speaker, let alone someone whose first

language is not English. Words such as

‘dazzling’ and ‘emerge’ are not common

in everyday speaking and many would

associate ‘dazzle’ with oncoming vehicles

and not those behind them and fail to

read the word ‘following’.

‘‘

Relying solely on practice tests

does not help students learn

the theory in context ... many

learners never pick up a copy

of the Highway Code... in fact,

they do not know how to learn

for themselves

‘‘

As with all tutors in Adult Education,

ADIs need to be able to provide

opportunities to improve their pupils’

English and mathematics skills (known

as embedding) into their lessons

wherever possible. Something I have

realised in recent years is that those

below a certain age find it hard to tell the

time using a traditional clock with hands,

which can be a problem when trying to

explain the positions of exits on a

roundabout. The English used in the

Highway Code is aimed at all age

groups, but it is worth remembering that

children need to understand it when they

are preparing for their cycling proficiency

test; therefore the language used should

be fairly easy to understand.

If you come across a word that could

cause a problem, such as ‘Prohibited’ or

‘Mandatory’, it is worth confirming that

your pupil knows what the word means,

or think of a word to replace it. It could

be useful to produce a glossary of terms

for the technical language used to help

students understand the questions and

use them at appropriate stages during

your lessons, for example when preparing

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a lesson on junctions you could include

approaching mandatory signs such as

‘Stop’ or any of the blue circular signs.

An effective way of including theory is

to set a bit of home study (which could

include an online programme) that will

help learners to prepare for their next

lesson. For example; if you are going to

be dealing with pedestrian crossings you

could reasonably ask them to read the

section on the subject and include road

signs and road markings likely to be seen

when approaching the crossings. It

should take no more than 15 minutes

but it will help them to link what they

are learning in the theory questions and

apply it to the practical training. It will

also be good material for your recap.

A particularly sticky section in the

theory test is ‘documents’. There are

questions relating to Statutory Off-Road

Notices (SORN), insurance, registration

documents and driving licences, which

fully qualified drivers are uncertain

about. It could be useful to keep copies

of such documentation with you while

teaching so that you can show learners

what they are and what information is

contained in them. If not, they are just

names which will be quickly forgotten.

Spending time covering theory can

help you with the recap at the start of

the lesson, particularly on a Standards

Check.

In the section ‘Lesson Planning’ there

is a heading ‘Did the trainer identify the

pupil’s learning goals and needs?’ If you

include some road signs you are likely to

see during your lesson in your recap, you

will have a better chance of identifying

any areas that need developing, for

‘‘

If you are dealing with

pedestrian crossings you

could ask them to read the

section on the subject and

include road signs and road

markings likely to be seen

when approaching them...

‘‘

example; if your pupil seems confused

about positive and negative order signs,

you will be able to point them out during

your lesson. This will help them to link

signs to the places they are likely to be

found and why they are used. This

means you will have a better chance of

being marked highly in the heading in

‘Teaching and Learning Strategies’

section ‘Were opportunities and

examples used to clarify learning

outcomes?’

Another area of the theory test is First

Aid. All ADIs should consider attending

an Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)

course as part of their CPD and

encourage their pupils to do likewise. In

some European countries First Aid is part

of the learning to drive syllabus. Being

able to make sense of the theory and

explain it in practical terms will help your

pupils to understand the subjects, in the

same way you are able to explain the

driving elements.

Now we can take our learners onto

motorways, pupils could be asked to

read up on breakdown procedures and

relevant road signs before the lesson

begins. You will then be able to develop

the theory during the practice to help

reinforce learning, eg, the distance

between telephone marker posts, how

the road signs are set out at major

intersections, reflective studs on the

carriageway, countdown markers,

national speed limits when leaving and

when to use the hard-shoulder.

If you have some time to spare this

week, why not refresh your memory of

the theory subjects and break them

down and see which sections match your

lessons; it really will help your learners

and you never know, you might learn

something new!

The theory test may include

‘documents’, with questions

relating to Statutory Off-Road

Notices (SORN), insurance,

registration documents and

driving licences... keep such

documentation in the car while

you’re teaching ....

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

23


L-test waiting times

The current L-test waiting times have provoked dismay

among ADIs, the DVSA and learners in equal measure.

Over the next seven pages we look at various issues arising

from the problem. Here, one ADI looks at the DVSA’s

belief that waiting times will revert to reasonable levels

within 12 months...

Much has been made of the

current L-test waiting times

in Newslink, with ADIs

rightly angered by what they

see as a Covid recoverycrushing

wait for tests. Perhaps,

therefore, it is worth looking at the

statistics behind the current position and

seeing if we can fathom a path through

the maze. Just how bad is the problem?

The first thing we have to ascertain is

the size of the backlog. In recent issues

Rod Came, among others, has made a

stab at calculating this, but in truth, it is

impossible to do accurately as we just

don’t know how many learners there are,

as no-one keeps this statistic. There is no

log of the number of learners taking

lessons. A request to the DVLA for how

many provisional driving licences had

been dispatched in the past two years

was met with the dreaded wall of an FOI

request, but even with this stat we would

never know whether people were

applying for a provisional licence to learn

to drive or just to prove their age/identity,

as many do.

However, by looking at past test data

we can take a pretty good ‘guesstimate’.

In 2018-19, the last year for which we

have full statistics, there were 1.66

million practical tests, with 761,972

passes (a 45.8 per cent pass rate, for

those interested) (see table facing page).

2019-20 saw 1.599 million tests,

with 734,600 passes; the dip, remember,

was due to losing a chunk of March 2020

as the pandemic lockdowns began.

24

Sorry everyone,

test numbers

don’t add up

We then see the impact of Covid-19 as

just 436,000 tests were conducted, with

217,000 passes, in 2020-21.

From these stats we can deduce the

following: over half a million people who

would, in normal times, now have a

driving licence, do not. The figure is the

difference between the passes in 2018-

19 /2019-20 (761,000 and 734,000

respectively) and those in 2020-21

(217,031), which makes about 550,000

– assuming that the class of 2020-21

was no different in terms of driving ability

from their counterparts in previous years.

So when people say the total backlog

is enormous, we can see it is at least

550,000 new drivers.

A big number. The DVSA says it will

sort the problem out in 12 months or

fewer. Will it? It expects to conduct

around 1.7m tests a year under normal

circumstances; that means the backlog is

about 32 per cent of total annual testing

capacity. There are currently around

1,650 examiners in the UK. Assuming

the DVSA’s recruitment campaign brings

in the extra 300 examiners it hopes for,

that would increase testing capacity by

around 18 per cent. At first glance it

looks like a decent attempt at curing the

problem, but that is the maximum

possible uplift and there are a number of

hurdles to get past before we see the

new examiners working at full tilt.

Before we discuss the issues stopping

that, one point to consider. Even at 18

per cent it doesn’t actually cut the

mustard. If you increase the 1.7 million

tests a year by 18 per cent to account for

the new examiners, you’re talking about

an extra 330,000 tests a year. We know

the pass rate is just shy of 50 per cent,

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


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Driving tests and passes, year by year

Financial year Tests conducted Passes Pass rate

2010/11 1,605,599 744,058 46.3

2011/12 1,569,069 736,158 46.9

2012/13 1,436,481 677,255 47.1

2013/14 1,477,585 695,580 47.1

2014/15 1,532,504 718,711 46.9

2015/16 1,537,735 723,444 47.0

2016/17 1,730,936 815,168 47.1

2017/18 1,718,519 795,892 46.3

2018/19 1,664,219 761,972 45.8

2019/20 1,599,566 734,600 45.9

2020/21 436,044 217,031 49.8

so only 160,000 of these will be a a

pass. That’s a long way shy of the

550,000 new drivers we have lost.

A quick bit of maths suggests we’ll

clear the 550,000 backlog in three and

a half years (3.5 x 160,000 = 560,000).

That’s how the maths comes out. And

that is a best case scenario.

It’s interesting that the 300 new

examiners are coming in on two-year

contracts, as if the DVSA expects therir

work to be done by summer 2023... not

a year, as it claims currently.

And then there is this virus... Every

hurdle that Covid-19 puts in front of the

testing regime pushes back the date at

which we can expect the testing system

to be back at pre-pandemic levels. For

instance, examiners are currently not

conducting the maximum tests possible,

because of Covid-related considerations.

At present some DTCs are operating at

six tests a day. That’s 90 per cent

capacity. In stark terms, that is around

200,000 tests a year fewer than in

2018-19, and 90,000 fewer passes. In

such a case the 300 extra examiners

would do nothing to lower the waiting

times; rather, they would simply stop the

waiting lists growing any further, and we

would be left with a 17-week waiting

time as a standard in many parts of the

country, rather than an exception.

It is true that the DVSA is working on

this part of the problem, and one

assumes that every week more DTCs wil

go back to pre-Covid testing numbers.

But at the same time, every week that

DTCs AREN’T at full capacity is a week

which nudges back the day the waiting

times issue is solved.

The other factor to bear in mind is

when the 300 turn up for work. We

know that the DVSA has started the

recruitment and training process, but we

have no idea how long it will take for the

new recruits’ boots to hit the ground and

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

start making a dent in the waiting list.

Remember that we are still living with

Covid-19 restrictions. One could easily

assume that the examiner training

programme is currently less efficient and/

or slower than before, with fewer student

examiners in cars or lecture theatres, and

possibly fewer on each training cohort to

maintain social distancing.

There is also an assumption that new

examiners won’t be expected to carry a

full test load from the outset; rather, they

will spend several weeks shadowing

more experienced colleagues.

Therefore, this numbers game is full of

‘‘

The new 300 are coming in

on two-year contracts...

as if DVSA thinks the

problem will be solved by

summer 2023...

‘‘

questions. First, when will examiners go

back to full testing? Second, when will

the relief column of new ones start work

– and when will they be at 100 per cent

operational efficiency?

At the end of April, the DVSA had

434,631 practical car driving tests

booked. I’d estimate that this is about

four months’ worth and covers the

summer and into September. An

additional fact: the DVSA hopes to be

conducting 11,725 tests a day once

social distancing rules have been lifted.

That’s an increase of around 11 per cent

on 2019-20 figures – way short of the

18 per cent possible in terms of the extra

examiners recruited.

So where do all these figures leave us?

Well, I think it is fair to say that they

work against the DVSA goal of having the

test waiting time back to 6-7 weeks

within a year. There are just too many

people in the system waiting to be

tested, with too little extra capacity being

brought in to satisfy demand. I’d expect

waiting lists to stay as high as 16 weeks

for at least two years. And this situation

could be worse: we know there is a huge

pent-up demand for theory tests. Once

the rules are relaxed on social distancing

so that theory test centres can get back

to full capacity, there will be a tsunami of

learners looking for a test. It’s going to

get nasty...

But there is one hope for the DVSA,

one more regiment of cavalry it can

deploy. And somewhat ironically, it is us

ADIs.

You see, there aren’t as many of us as

there used to be, so no matter how many

people are desperate for lessons – either

those who had their training interrupted

by Covid, those who never started or

those who turned 17 recently and would

be expecting to start – there just isn’t the

ADI capacity to take them on. We are

basically looking at 27 months’ worth of

new pupils hitting ADIs’ books in the

just 12 months – and that’s an equation

that simply will not work. There are only

so many extra lessons ADIs can offer,

and it’s going to leave a lot of would-be

learners disappointed.

It’s not like there is an easy way to

increase ADI numbers either. The training

process takes around a year from initial

application to becoming a fully vetted

ADI. You can’t simply magic new ADIs

out of the air after a rudimentary training

period; there are standards to uphold,

exams to pass. Anecdotal evidence

suggests a few older ADIs who retired

recently are contemplating coming back

to the profession to earn a quick buck

while the sun is shining, but it’s not many.

And that’s the DVSA’s ace up its

sleeve; it could be that the full weight of

demand to take a driving test will be held

back by the dam of a scarcity of ADIs to

train learners quickly enough.

And just as that dam looks ready to

break, the DVSA will have its examiners

back working at full capacity and the

new recruits will be making a difference,

too.

So could we be back to normal by

summer 2022? Unlikely; a more

believable concept will be pupils fighting

for test slots for at least the next two

years, with waiting times fluctuating

wildly from DTC to DTC, some with

reasonable waiting, others not.

It could definitely get messy...

25


L-test waiting times

An MSA GB member offers his assessment on the current

controversy around L-test waiting times and the DVSA’s rejection

of an ADI’s offer to help in bringing them down ...

Hy•poc•risy:

Def: Holding a position

on an issue and

then immediately

contradicting it ....

A

new columnist was welcomed

into Newslink in May: Loveday

Ryder, CEO of the DVSA.

Whether this will be a

regular feature, I know not, but

it is was good to see her put pen to

paper (or fingers to keyboard).

I’m an old enough salt to remember

the glory days of former chiefs Bernard

Herdan – a man who obviously viewed

Yes, Minister not so much as TV comedy

gold but an instructional manual to a

career in the Civil Service – and Rosemary

Thew contributing columns in Newslink.

They were clearly never going to say

anything controversial but it was good to

read their thoughts, and in the days of

little or no social media, they were a

valued source of information on change.

Mind you, we did tend to read what the

DSA [sic] was doing after they had

implemented the changes, but you got

the impression the thought was there.

Then it all ended. Alastair Peoples took

over – a man whose surname didn’t quite

match his personality, as he was far more

26

interested in machines than people(s).

Harsh? No slurs against his character

intended, but Alastair took over the now

DVSA when the DSA merged with VOSA

– in other words, he was in charge of

that part of the government operation

that looked at vehicle standards, rather

than driver’s. His absence from the ranks

of Newslink columnists was a clue that

the driver training and testing fraternity

was not an equal partner in the new

set-up. In truth, Alastair never gave the

impression he got to grips with ADIs,

and the only good thing about that was

that pros such as Lesley Young, chief

driving examiner from 2021-2018, were

allowed to get on with the job

unencumbered by gents who preferred

getting their hands mucky in engine oil.

Alastair was followed by Gareth

Llewellyn, a technocrat who had no

sides to favour in the uncomfortable

relationship between the

mechanical and the human

side of driving. Given the

challenges he faced on

Loveday writes “We’re asking you to encourage your pupils

to rearrange their test for a later date if they regularly make

mistakes during lessons. Let’s be clear: I agree with every

word Loveday says. Bang on, m’lady.

coming into the office – a Government

hell-bent on cost-cutting and reducing

expenditure, followed by a pandemic –

it’s easy to overlook that some major

changes came our way under his

leadership, particularly learners on

motorways, and a new L-test regime.

But still he didn’t demean himself with

direct communication to ADIs through

Newslink’s pages … it’s like he never

loved us, just realised we were a

necessary evil to be tolerated.

Which brings me to Loveday. Four

months into the job and she’s there,

hammering away at her keyboard late

into the night, offering all sorts of advice

and encouragement to us ADIs. Thank

you; it feels like we’re important to you.

And given that, it feels rude to criticise

what you wrote – but I will,

anyway.

Reading Loveday’s piece

and comparing it with the

text supplied by regular

DVSA combatant Rod

Came, there appears to be

a glaring contradiction

between the two articles in

the May issue that borders on

downright hypocrisy.

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Loveday writes on the desperate state

of L-test waiting lists, saying that

everything is being done to get more

examiners on the frontline, to increase

access to tests and bring the list down.

But, and here is the crucial part, it is

vital that ADIs do their bit, too:

“We’re asking you to encourage your

pupils to rearrange their test for a later

date if they regularly make mistakes

during lessons … encourage those who

are not ready for their test to reflect

and, where necessary, rearrange their

test to a later date.”

She wants us to assess their ability.

Remember that word. Assess.

Let’s be clear: I agree with every word

Loveday says. Bang on, m’lady. It’s the

conversation most us have every week

after little Jimmy successfully completes

‘‘

The examiner stops the test

two-three times and prats about

for 3-4 minutes performing the

slow manoeuvres. Waste of time:

why can’t ADIs help shorten the

current test by signing them off?

‘‘

an hour’s driving without giving me heart

failure while he’s in control: “So, am I

ready for my test yet?” No, Jimmy, you’ve

had five lessons and you can barely steer

in a straight line. You’re not quite there…

Ms Ryder has identified the crux of the

problem ADIs face. We are one of the

few groups in business for whom, in her

eyes, the customer is NOT right. When

our customers ask if they can put in for

their test, we have to gently say no, wait,

there’s more stuff to cover. We back up

our refusal with clear assessments of the

situation. “Remember on the lesson

when you did X – that’s a straight fail.

Remember when I told you four times to

check the mirror before signalling –

either straight fail or repetitive driver

faults, adding up in time to a fail.” We

assess. We’ve not been formally trained

to do so at test level but our experience

tells us that pupil A will fail, pupil B has,

all things being equal, a chance of passing.

So if we take it that I agree with

Loveday’s point, that I as an ADI should

assess my pupils’ ability to pass their

L-test and convince them to wait a while

longer before applying to take it, what’s

my problem with Loveday’s column?

Step forward, Rod Came.

Now, I don’t know Rod from Adam but

I do know he has a serious beef with the

DVSA. At the moment it’s about L-test

waiting times, and he’s been pressing

top officials to act on them.

One of his suggestions is to offer ADIs’

services as test assessors. I’m not sure

how far he wants them to go but I know

that if ADIs were allowed to assess

pupils before their test and then

communicate that assessment to

examiners, it could result in a shorter

L-test – and therefore, logically, more

tests a day, thus easing the waiting list

problem.

Here’s how. We know that the goal of

recent reforms of the L-test was to get

candidates driving for longer, to give

examiners a proper look at their ability to

control the car and navigate the roads

safely. But the test still includes

ridiculous manoeuvres such as bay

parking and reverses clogging it up.

Why? If a pupil can drive a car at 50mph

down a busy dual carriageway, common

sense tells you that they are probably

capable of nurdling it around at 5mph in

an empty street. Yet the examiner stops

the test and prats around for 3-4

minutes a couple of times a test to prove

that point.

Why not ask the ADI at the start of the

test, “how are the slow manoeuvres?” A

quick glance at a log book, a quick

affirmation that all is good and you could

take 10 minutes off every test but have

the same amount of driving – thus

creating space in the day for a whole

extra test. Over time that would add up

to an effective way of driving down

waiting times.

But the DVSA does not want us to do

that. Rather, in the DVSA’s own words to

Rod Came when pressed on this idea:

“Although ADIs are well qualified and

proficient in driving and instruction,

they are not experienced assessors.”

Woooah, horse. Stop right there. What

do you mean, ‘not experienced

assessors...’ Your boss thinks we are!

Loveday Ryder asked us to assess

whether pupils can pass their test in 17

weeks’ time… but at the same time,

another part of the DVSA is saying an

ADI cannot tell the examiner how good

someone’s reversing was 30 minutes

ago. Why the contradiction? If we can

assess what level the pupil will be in

several months, why not take our word

for their ability to complete slow

manoeuvres when they take their test?

The only two logical reasons for the

contradiction are, either, that for all its

‘‘

Perhaps the DVSA does not

want ADIs parking their tanks

on its lawn when it comes to

candidate assessment... it is the

bastion of driving standards

and Heaven forbid anyone

who suggests otherwise ...

‘‘

talk of modernising and reform of the

driver training and testing landscape, at

its heart the DVSA is an old stick in the

mud that likes doing things the way

they’ve always been done because…

well, because that’s how we’ve always

done it.

Or, there’s a second reason, which is

altogether more Machiavellian. That the

DVSA does not want ADIs parking their

tanks on its lawn when it comes to

candidate assessment. Because, at a

time when children across the country

are being given crucial GCSE and A-Level

grades on the strength of their teachers’

assessments alone, with just hands-off

oversight by Ofqual and the examining

bodies, the DVSA has spotted the way

the wind is blowing regarding statecontrolled

testing and wants to blow back.

Currently the DVSA is the bastion of

driving assessment, not ADIs, and

Heaven forbid anyone who suggests that

changes. It does not want to be downgraded

to an organisation a tenth its

current size, tasked simply with setting

the driving standard required and then

occasionally monitoring, Ofsted style, the

training output of its teachers… sorry,

ADIs… as they are left to not only teach

but formally assess learners and grant

licences when they are good enough.

Between you and me, I think the DVSA

has spotted that its empire could crumble,

little by little. At a time when we have a

Prime Minister who is devoted to small

government and loves the idea of turning

public sector services over to the private

sector, the thought of saying to ADIs that

they have a formal role to play in assessing

driving standards is a dangerous one. It

is a slippery slope the DVSA doesn’t

want to be stood at the top of.

And that’s why, despite Ms Ryder’s

entreaties for us to assess our pupils on

their ability to pass the L-test, it’s not an

idea anyone at the agency will take to

the logical next step, and that’s just

plain-old hypocrisy.

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

27


L-test waiting times

A number of MSA GB members have

contacted the association in recent

weeks to complain about a new wave of

driving test booking apps that they

believe are snapping up test slots for the

app’s clients and making it impossible

for ADIs to secure tests for their pupils.

While this issue is possibly not as bad as

some believe, as it is happening at the

same time as a general shortage of tests,

these apps are certainly exacerbating the

situation and there is a danger that such

technology could reach a point where it

effectively books all tests and makes

them available at a premium price that is

way above the official test fee.

MSA GB Western editor Guy Annan is

one ADI who has brought this issue to

the attention of his local MP, as you will

read here.

No tests? I’m not ’appy

Guy Annan

MSA GB Western

Below is a letter my local ADI group has

sent to Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow,

on the current situation regarding driving

test waiting times and the way some

mobile phone apps are making a bad

situation worse.

I would encourage all ADIs to copy this

and send it to their own MPs, to try to

bring pressure on the Transport Secretary

and DVSA for action.

Some of us have already heard back

from our MPs saying that they will ask

question and the more letters that are

sent the more pressure we can put on

the DVSA to do something about it.

RE: Driving Instructors unable to book

driving tests

Dear [name of MP to be inserted],

Can I first start by wishing my letter

finds you well, in what has been a

horrible and unprecedented time for

everyone involved. I am sure your

workload has never been greater and the

questions never ending; even with an end

in sight, the hurdles continue to test us a

nation.

The purpose of me contacting you is to

request your assistance on a subject that

is currently affecting driving instructors

across the country, that is the lack of

driving test availability.

I, like every driving instructor I know,

am currently faced with an awkward and

business threatening situation. Looking at

my local DVSA Driving Test Centres I am

currently unable to find any test bookings

at all from today’s date 17/05/21,

through to 31/10/2021 (as far as the

DVSA system will allow).

I book my pupils their test as part of my

service and commitment to their progress.

Using the DVSA Official Business Service

has always previously been a much

simpler and easier way to book a driving

test. Other instructors will have different

reasons for using this service and it has

never failed in the past.

However, as of late, we seem to be

locked out of the system by what appears

to be the DVSA working with private test

cancellation services.

These services charge learners anything

from £5 - £20 to find them an earlier

driving test, a fantastic way to reduce wait

times when looking for a cancellation for

a pupil who has unfortunately failed their

driving test.

Lately, however, the DVSA has enabled

its customers to book a test ‘on hold’.

This effectively means a customer has

paid, in full, for a driving test that does

not exist; these customers are then able

to use the ‘on hold’ test to find a sooner

driving test.

The way these app services work is, a

customer signs up for the service, pays

their fee, and then chooses which test

centre(s) they would like their test at. The

system then scans all test centres

nationwide, every three seconds, and

reserves any tests that are available to

prevent the public who aren’t paying the

app company from reserving the same

test. It then notifies all the customers who

have selected said test centre of the

available slot and books it for the first to

reply.

These systems, and there are literally

dozens currently operating, are removing

tests from the system the second they are

available, preventing literally anyone,

except them, from booking a driving test.

As these systems operate nationwide,

driving instructors across the UK are

reporting some very worrying and

troubling situations.

As an example:

• We recieved a report of nine driving

tests being booked at one test centre, with

two being reserved by driving schools and

the remainder private vehicles.

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Of those nine tests, two were refused

the test on the day because of the state of

the vehicle not providing a Covid-safe

environment for the examiner, five tests

returned early to the driving test centre as

a serious or dangerous fault had occurred

during the test, possibly endangering the

safety of the examiner and other road

users, meaning only the two driving

school cars completed the test.

That is seven tests at one test centre

compromising the safety of not just

driving examiners but potentially other

road users.

• Reports of people requesting an

instructor’s help as they have a test

booked for three or four days’ time, and

have yet to have a single driving lesson,

or worse, have never even driven a car!

• Reports of people booking tests at

any available test centre in the UK.

• Reports of pupils now stopping

driving lessons while they wait for driving

tests, instructors unable to operate a full

diary as they have pupils reducing lessons

as they, or we, wait to book a driving test.

• Reports of instructors requesting

financial assistance as pupils cancel

lessons to take a ‘gamble’ on passing

their driving test sooner in another

vehicle, without completing their training.

In the short term, this is a very

worrying situation for us as business

owners as we begin to see less and less

income; no pupil wishes to continue to

finance driving lessons with no end goal

in sight.

We also have concerns for examiners

who may become injured with a customer

who isn’t prepared adequately for a test.

Any such injuries would obviously remove

the examiner from their normal duties,

making the situation regarding test

availability even worse.

In the long term, we have serious

concerns for road safety as pupils who

have not completed their training may get

lucky and pass a driving test that perhaps

does not assess everything required to be

a safe driver for life.

Remember that Safe driving for life is

the motto by which the DVSA asks us to

teach.

With the DVSA allowing customers to

rebook their test, up to and including the

date of the booked test, many people are

searching for an instructor up to the day

of their test.

Perhaps a simple solution is, as DVSA

approved instructors, we should be able

to have prior access to the booking

system through the OBS, before tests

being released to the public. This would

go a long way to fixing the issues above

and reduce the burden somewhat on both

instructors and pupils.

After the first lockdown, the DVSA did

indeed give instructors access to the

system before the public. While this may

have only been for a few hours on the first

day of the week, it did provide us with

that option, and many instructors used

this service to our advantage to present

‘‘

Perhaps a simple solution

is for ADIs to have access to

the booking system through

the OBS before tests are

released to the public

‘‘

suitable candidates for a test.

I appreciate this may seem a small

issue in comparison to the many issues

you must face, but I would respectfully

request you to investigate the issue or

instruct someone else to.

I would like to thank you, for taking the

time to read this, hear our plight and I

hope, to hear from you or your

representative soon regarding this matter.

Yours sincerely and respectfully

[ADI’s name to be inserted]

MPs and the DVSA’s responses:

see overleaf

Rescheduling

on hold L-tests

When you or your pupils book tests

via the GOV.UK online booking service

you have the option to put your

booking on hold if there are no

suitable available tests. However, the

on hold option should only be used for

booking tests:

• at a remote site

• where candidates need an extended

test

• for an ADI part 2, ADI part 3 or ADI

standards check

• where additional support is needed

for reasons such as disability, health

condition, are pregnant or the

candidate has a learning difficulty.

If tests are placed on hold for any

other reason, the application will be

cancelled, and the test fee refunded.

A large number of car test bookings

are currently on hold in the DVSA

system which do not fall into the

options above. These tests have been

put on hold by the person who booked

the test, and we are now asking them

to choose a test appointment.

The DVSA will contact anyone with

a booking on hold to let them know

that they need to choose a test date

by the end of Tuesday, August 31.

It is continuing to add new test

slots, so if your pupil cannot find a

test initially, please encourage them to

keep looking regularly – as long as

they are ready for their test.

If they do not choose a test slot by

the end of Tuesday 31 August 2021,

the DVSA will cancel their on hold

booking and issue them a full refund.

Cancelling tests

If your pupil no longer wants a car

practical test they have booked they

can cancel their driving test online.

They’ll then get a full refund within

15 working days of cancellation.

If you have booked any practical

tests for your pupils using the Book

and Manage Your pupils’ Test service

that are still on hold, an email will be

sent to the email address that you

gave at the time of the booking.

The DVSA is working to update the

online booking system to make it

clearer how the on hold button should

be used during the booking process.

For more information see GOV.UK

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

29


Not ’appy continued

L-test waiting times

Letters to MPs over the test booking apps provoked some responses - see below

MSA GB Western Chairman Arthur

Mynott was one of the members who

sent the letter from the pages 28-29 on

to his MP, and this was the reply he

received. Clearly, the MP in question

shares ADIs’ concern over the booking

test apps.

Mr Mynott,

Thank you for your email about the

difficulties approved driving instructors

like yourself are experiencing in booking

driving tests for their pupils.

I fully appreciate just how challenging

the past few months have been for

learners and driving instructors and

obviously the resumption of both driving

lessons and driving tests is welcome.

However, I was concerned to read of

the difficulties that you are experiencing

in trying to book tests for pupils and that

you have effectively been locked or frozen

out of the system by the DVSA working

with test cancellation services rather

than directly with instructors and pupils.

Obviously, everyone is keen to ensure

we clear the backlog of those waiting for

tests and, as you acknowledge, these

services can be helpful for someone who

has “just to say” failed a test to take it

quickly, but if the “on hold” system is

freezing out instructors and ordinary

users and encouraging people who are

not ready to take a test to do so in

unsafe vehicles, then that is simply not

acceptable.

I recall that when my three

children took their driving

tests that their instructors

booked their tests as they

were best placed to know

when they were ready, not

the children themselves or

my wife and I as the people

who took them out to practice.

The system worked very well and

something that excludes driving

instructors – or individuals – from

booking driving tests without resorting to

using a cancellation service is not

acceptable, in my view.

I have a briefing with Transport

Ministers next week – mostly about

Covid and international travel, but I will

try to use the opportunity of questions at

the end to raise this issue as well. In

addition, I have also formally written to

Transport Ministers to take this matter

up with them directly and will let

you know of the reply I receive

as soon as I have it.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Liddell-Grainger

Member of Parliament

for Bridgwater and

West Somerset

‘We cannot give ADIs priority access to bookings’

One of the first MPs to receive the letter

from MSA GB Western members was

Rebecca Pow, who kindly forwarded it

on to the DVSA for their consideration.

As an MP, Ms Pow’s reply came from the

offices of the DVSA chief executive,

Loveday Ryder. Here we publish excerpts

from the reply

Dear Ms Pow

Thank you for your email of 19 May on

behalf of your constituent, Guy Annan

about the availability of practical driving

tests.

The suspension of routine driving

lessons and tests has created an

extremely high demand for

driving tests throughout the

UK. I would like to assure

you we are doing all we

can to safely provide as

many driving test

appointments as we can.

30

Rebecca Pow, MP

The aim is to increase testing capacity

and reduce the backlog as quickly as

possible, whilst maintaining a COVIDsecure

service for customers and

examiners.

Any additional driving test appointments

are added to the booking system as soon

as they become available. Other

candidates cancelling or rescheduling

their test, also free up slots for others to

book.

I can assure Mr Annan that we are not

working with test cancellation services as

he has suggested. We are aware of

unofficial commercial applications, apps

or bots, that constantly search our

system for test slots. These are

not approved by us and as

well as making it harder for

other candidates to get a

test, can also result in

people paying far more for a

test than the official test fee.

Unless these third-party

sites are acting illegally or are

seen to be affiliating themselves to DVSA,

it is difficult for us to stop them from

operating. But we are increasing our

monitoring of such applications and will

take action where we can.

We will continue to inform candidates

of the official channels for booking a test.

I am sorry to hear of the difficulties Mr

Annan has had in accessing the online

business booking system. We have a

business system team who deal with such

issue and it can be contacted at

customerservices@dvsa.gov.uk

We are unable to give instructors prior

access to the booking system. When we

did this after the first lockdown, it was

because the booking system had been

closed during that period and a staggered

return to bookings was put in place.

Since then, the booking system has

remained open.

Yours sincerely

Loveday Ryder

Chief Executive, DVSA

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


NEWSLINK n MAY 2021 17


Electric cars

Do electric vehicles

add up for ADIs?

Mike Yeomans

MSA GB North East

Like many of you I’m sure, the

current debate around electric cars

has piqued my interest. There is a

wide range of options available,

and EVs are clearly the way forward as

far as the government is concerned.

However, what few people have asked so

far is, how do they work for driving

instructors?

To try to gain some clarity on this vital

question I asked Hitachi Capital UK Plc,

Vehicle Solutions for their take on electric

vehicles (EVs) for ADIs. I also gained

some great insights from Rob Cooling.

He is an ADI (Apple School of Motoring)

who has been an enthusiastic advocate

for EVs for some time, and has written

several articles in Newslink explaining

why he feels they are great tuition

vehicles. He has also given many

enthusiastic talks via Zoom recently, and

is happy to share real-time costs and

experiences with ADIs. MSA GB North

East have had Rob give talks to our

members a couple of times and every

time I hear him, I learn that little bit more.

My principal concerns were around

purchase costs and how far we had gone

with reasonable cost leasing and finance.

The reply from Hitachi Capital is

interesting and is contained within the

information below.

So, let’s look at where we are at the

moment. The future of driving, so we are

told, is electric. So much so that the UK

government has picked 2035 as the date

when sales of pure petrol and diesel

vehicles will be banned, heralding a new

zero emissions age.

In fact, as part of a public consultation

process on changing building regulations

in England, it has been proposed that all

new homes with a dedicated parking

space should be legally required to

include an electric vehicle (EV) charging

point. There’s even pressure on the UK

government to bring the 2035 date

forward to 2030, a deadline the Irish

government is already considering

putting into legislation.

With this in mind, it would seem to

make sense if those responsible for

training the drivers of the future started

thinking about when, rather than if, they

“You will rack up

substantial savings

by not hav-

ing to pay the

Congestion

Charge or other

ULEZ fees...”

should make their own switch to EVs.

On the face of it there is both an

environmental and a financial case for

doing so. Tuition cars tend to spend large

portions of the day driving around

densely populated areas where emissions

are particularly problematic. With so

many cities planning to introduce Clean

Air Zones similar to London’s ULEZ,

continuing to use internal combustion

engine (ICE) vehicles, particularly diesel,

will mean ever-increasing financial

penalties and other restrictions.

Of course, many driving instructors will

rightly question whether it is practical to

make the switch now, or if such a

change would cause more problems than

it solves.

Why should I consider an EV?

To help you decide, according to

Hitachi Capital, we can explore the case

for EVs by looking at some of the unique

features which could impact the teaching

environment and business viability of

such a decision:

They’re quiet…

The absence of revving, humming and

clattering noises produced by combustion

may well have a calming effect on some

students, allowing them to focus on

developing their new driving skills. This

would also benefit instructors who spend

such a large part of their day in the

vehicle.

They only have one gear

and no clutch…

The extremely high torque produced by

electric motors means that EVs don’t

need gearboxes, clutches or automatic

transmissions. These are all parts that

tend to wear out when driven around for

long periods each day, especially when it

is somewhat hesitantly.

This is actually just one of the reasons

that EVs are generally more reliable and

need less maintenance than traditional

cars.

Of course, passing a test in an EV will

only give the student a licence to drive

an automatic vehicle. However, the

number of automatics on the road is

rapidly increasing, with 2017 seeing

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them account for 40 per cent of sales.

The number of people taking the

automatic driving test has also risen to

10 per cent, up from four per cent just a

decade ago.

If you are already offering automatic

lessons, then an EV could be considered

as a possible upgrade, and it would

certainly be a more future-proof

automatic for the job.

EV brakes last (almost) forever

Another part that tends to get a lot of

use in instructor cars, and therefore

needs to be replaced frequently, are

brakes. After all, there are twice as many

brake pedals in instructor cars as

ordinary ones, and some instructors

report wearing through three sets of pads

in just 60,000 miles.

EVs regenerate energy from

momentum when the accelerator is

released, slowing the car down, so the

brakes are used much less frequently or

harshly than in combustion cars. Many

EV drivers report driving well over

100,000 miles without needing to

replace pads.

So far so good, but you could argue

that there are lots of other reasons EVs

aren’t right for you or your business. Let’s

look at some of the most common

reasons driving instructors might rule EVs

out and see whether they hold up to

scrutiny.

Range concerns

EV ranges have increased remarkably

in recent years. This is true even of their

real, as opposed to ‘brochure’, ranges,

which tend to be c.15 per cent shorter.

For example, the Nissan Leaf has a

real-world range of 128 miles on a full

charge. The Renault Zoe Q90 offers 132

miles, the VW e-Golf, 117 miles.

A typical driving test covers 10-15

miles, which is a reasonable yardstick for

the mileage of a driving lesson. Add five

miles for travelling between lessons, and

a fully charged Nissan Leaf could give

you five-six lessons a day without

recharging.

If this is still not enough for your needs

then it’s worth remembering that the

public rapid-charging network has also

grown, and there are now more than

5,400 connectors in over 1,600

locations around the country, including

all UK motorway service stations (except

Folkstone).

If you want to check the coverage in

your area, just a take a look at Zap Map

which shows up to date figures and

locations for all types of charging points.

Without off-road parking I can’t charge

up overnight…

Although you can request the local

council to install on-street residential

charging, this is probably still a dealbreaker

if you operate out of your home

or intend to commute in the EV instructor

car. However, it is widely accepted that

battery capacity will continue to improve

and charging times will come down,

making it much more practical to own an

EV without off-road parking.

The batteries will need to be replaced…

Nissan recently claimed, based on

battery degradation data from the

400,000 Leafs sold in Europe, that its

batteries will last 22 years. That’s a

decade-or-so longer than the average life

of the car itself. Additionally, most EV

manufacturers already offer long

warranty periods, often around eight

years.

They’re too expensive…

It’s true that EVs currently cost rather

more than their ICE equivalents to buy,

though government grants such as the

Plug-in Car Grant of up to £3,500 for

pure EVs (grants are no longer available

for plug-in hybrids) help take the edge off

the price difference. These are available

for private motorists and businesses,

including driving instructors, choosing a

new EV. There are also grants defraying

up to 75 per cent of the cost of installing

fast home charging points.

Additionally, if you operate out of your

own business premises, and have

off-street parking, there is a Workplace

Charging Scheme (WCS), offering grants

that reduce the purchase and installation

cost of multiple charging stations by 75

per cent. You don’t have to currently

have an EV to apply, just an existing or

future need for your business.

EVs do cost more to insure, and still

depreciate faster than other kinds of

cars, though this gap is closing as EVs

become more popular. Of course,

depreciation is already factored into

monthly leasing payments, helping to

avoid any nasty surprises down the line.

Having said all this, the meagre

running costs of EVs are unrivalled.

Firstly, because you escape all the taxes

and charges, such as Vehicle Excise Duty

and Benefit in Kind taxation, which are

levied directly on car use/ownership. And

if you live or operate your instructing

business in the central London area, you

will rack up substantial savings by not

having to pay the London Congestion

Charge or ULEZ fees.

Meanwhile, many councils offer

discounted or free parking for EVs, which

could be particularly beneficial for

instructors, who often have breaks

between lessons.

What’s more, you would be swapping

a 400 per cent rate of tax on petrol and

diesel for a 5% tax on electricity. This

means that your fuel costs will likely be

around 4-6p a mile, compared to

approximately 13-16p a mile for petrol

and diesel. Given the relatively high

mileage of the average instructor, this

adds up to a substantial saving over time.

Finally, because of their simple motors,

no oil or filters to change, the lack of

gears and clutches, and the muchextended

life of brakes, EVs cost

considerably less to service and maintain

than ICE cars.

This not only means less money to pay

out, but also less downtime for your key

money-earning asset.

Costs vary on insurance and leasing;

contacting some of the companies that

advertise in Newslink would be a good

starting point so you know how the

finances stack up for you.

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

33


Regional News

Spiralling into

confusion

John Lomas

Editor, MSA GB North West

A new style of road markings on a T-

junction has recently appeared in Wirral.

As you can see from the photos above, it

strongly resembles one of those circular

mazes you see in children’s puzzle books.

It has reportedly caused all sorts of

problems because some drivers are

treating it like a (mini) roundabout, while

others, on the straight through road, are

just ignoring it.

It would appear that there was no

publicity about this new style of marking

prior to its installation.

The following is a comment from an

instructor (un-named because the

comment was emailed to me without an

attribution.)

“We’ve spoken with Pete Fielding, TCM

at Upton and Wallasey for advice on this

as it’s on a few of the Wallasey [DTC]

routes. As expected, the advice is to deal

with it safely at slow speed and take

effective observations.

“The problem is the road markings

make it look like a roundabout so some

people are treating it as such whilst other

drivers are driving straight over it.

“From what we understand the idea of

the area is more of a shared space

environment and encouraging traffic to

slow down, but it’s not really been

explained to drivers and as it’s something

new many don’t see that.

“We’re hoping to have someone from

the road safety team at Wirral Council

attend our next APDI meeting to explain

more, so will have a better idea after

that.”

I have passed on to them the following

items from the Traffic Signs Manual,

which is available at: www.gov.uk/

government/publications/traffic-signsmanual

For clarity, the parts in italics are taken

verbatim from the manual, with my

comments in roman. I highlighted, in

bold, certain parts which might be

important. I’ll leave it up to you whether

the regulations set out in the Traffic

Manual are being adhered to.

The Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 1

Section2.2.5. Says: Authorisation for a

non-standard sign can only be given in

situations where there is no sign already

prescribed.

Further Statutory Instruments are

made from time-to-time that amend the

Regulations and/or Directions in TSRGD,

so awareness of these is essential.

Designers should use the DfT website or

www.legislation.gov.uk to check that

they are using the latest TSRGD (as

amended).

(JL: There are plenty of prescribed

signs and markings for T junctions.)

And;

2.3.3 The principles of good traffic

management are in line with good

streetscape design – neither is helped

by over-provision and clutter. Therefore,

this increase in traffic signs is

unsustainable and rather than being

erected to address a perceived single

issue, they should be erected where

sound engineering principles justify

them.

(JL: This is surely over provision and

clutter.)

Also:

3.3.1 The use of non-prescribed signs

on public highways without authorisation

by the national authority might be

deemed unlawful, with authorities using

them acting beyond their powers. The

erection of an unauthorised sign in the

highway is an obstruction and the

possible consequences of erecting or

permitting the erection of obstructions

can be severe. Those responsible could

lay themselves open to a claim for

damages, for example if an obstruction

is the cause of an accident or an injury

in a collision, or if it adversely affects a

property adjacent to the road by

blocking light or impairing visual

amenity. Furthermore, the use of

unlawful traffic signs might compromise

enforcement of statutory provisions and

be detrimental to road safety.

(JL: Has the authority obtained permission

for these non-standard markings?)

Again:

Chapter 5 1.2.1. All road markings

and road studs placed on a highway or

on a road to which the public has

access (right of passage in Scotland), as

defined in section 142 of the Road

Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and

amended by the New Roads and Street

Works Act 1991, must be either

prescribed by Regulations or authorised

by the Secretary of State for Transport

(for installations in England)

See previous comment.

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates, contact John at

johnstardriving@hotmail.com

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Plenty of ADIs out and about - and it’s good to

see hygiene standards are being maintained

Terry Pearce

MSA GB West Midlands

Has anyone else noticed an increase in

the number of individual driving

instructors that have appeared on the

road?

My assumption is that they have

previously been working for a larger

driving school and have now decided to

go on their own.

Most instructors are busy, so it is an

ideal time to go it alone and be your own

boss. Some of them are using

headboards that look quite old, from

their style, so perhaps they purchased

them several years ago when they

qualified before they joined a larger

school and they’ve now dusted them off

to work for themselves.

As I do not need to advertise anymore,

I have changed to using a single ‘L’

headboard. I have always preferred a

headboard because if you have a

problem other motorists behind you can

see they are waiting for a learner and

normally are more patient.

One problem we still have is booking a

driving test. As I wrote this article, I have

just checked my nearest five driving test

centres and there was only one vacancy

for a Saturday test next week. Two hours

later even that one had gone. I am sure

the DVSA is doing all it can to get as

many driving tests through a spossible

– after all, it wants to make a profit as

well as us.

Have your pupils used one of the apps

that looks for cancellations? A colleague’s

pupil kept missing the available slots the

app gave him, so he changed the

settings to automatically change the test,

only to find that his instructor was

unavailable.

Looking to the future, when the

pandemic is over, will we keep the same

standards of hygiene we have now? I

hope so. Will the examiners still want the

car as clean as now? Why not?

The garage I get my fuel from has

someone constantly cleaning the pumps

when they are used; it shows they care.

The restaurants I have used bring my

cutlery to me, I do not have to get it out

of a communal container where everyone

else has touched my knife and fork.

There are many more examples I could

give along the same lines. Possibly telling

potential pupils that you still regularly

sanitise the inside of the car could even

be a selling point.

Before the pandemic we used to see

some foreign visitors wearing face masks

which I must admit I thought was

strange. A relative was told by his friend

that the reason they wore them was to

protect other people from their germs if

they coughed, etc, because they were

being polite.

Perhaps face masks may become our

norm!

If you have any items of interest,

please let me know. I can be contacted

on 024 7633 5270.

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates from your area, contact

Terry at terry@terrypearce.co.uk

News extra

DVLA extends GB licence swap to four more countries

Citizens from North Macedonia, Taiwan

and Ukraine will be allowed to swap their

car driving licence for a British one if they

become residents of the UK, the DVLA

has said, while citizens of the United Arab

Emirates will be able to do the same for

cars and small motorcycles not exceeding

125cc. The decision was made after a

consultation exercise with interested

parties in the UK.

UK citizens will now be able to convert

their driving licences for local ones if they

reside in those four countries.

The consultation document highlighted

the benefits of the proposal for individual

driving licence holders. As driving tests in

these countries/territories meet GB

standards, requiring drivers to undergo a

driving test here to get a GB licence

represents an unnecessary burden, the

DVLA side, and the consultation

responses overwhelmingly supported this.

There may also be benefits to GB

licence holders from the reciprocal

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

arrangements that will allow them to

exchange their licence for one issued in

these countries/territories.

It is recognised that road safety

statistics for countries/territories being

considered for designation may not be

comparable to the UK. Given the outcome

of the assessment of the testing standards

for the specified vehicles, these are

unlikely to be a factor.

Road safety may be affected by other

factors unique to those territories (eg,

speed limits) and will not affect driving in

GB.

While some respondents to the

consultation claimed it was possible to

obtain driving licences in Ukraine and

North Macedonia without going through

the state testing regime, the DVLA found

little evidence to back this up.

The DVLA has procedures in place to

identify potential issues. Countries/

territories are notified when one of their

licences is exchanged and are expected to

advise if there appears to be any issue eg,

there is no official record of that licence

holder. Evidence of repeated issues with

exchangeable licences will be raised with

the relevant licensing authority and

exchange arrangements reviewed if

necessary.

The DVLA said it considers that any

risks with allowing the exchange of

licences issued by these countries/

territories for the specified vehicles “is low

and do not justify withholding the benefits

that it would provide to individual licence

holders.”

Drivers resident in GB with licences

issued in North Macedonia, Taiwan,

Ukraine and United Arab Emirates can

continue to drive using that licence for up

to 12 months from the date they became

resident.

To ensure continuous driving

entitlement beyond that 12-month period,

a GB driving licence must be obtained by

passing a driving test.

35


Regional News

App plan could help explain test

routes in unfamiliar areas

Janet Stewart

MSA GB Greater London

I attended a Zoom meeting of my local

driving instructors’ association last week.

It started with the usual moans and

complaints about DVSA; in particular

that “they” were asking us to keep up to

date with all new publications and rules,

etc, but had missed every past

opportunity to make CPD compulsory.

They were, however, praised for the

quality of the post-test analysis that is

now available.

This was followed by an airing of

complaints about the rephasing of some

of the traffic lights in the area, which

were leading to all sorts of problems with

junction blocking. But since I imagine

that few of you will be interested in the

problems of the Watford ring road, I will

move on.

The main business of the evening was

about helping new ADIs and generating

membership and income for our

association. The way to find out about

test routes is to sit in the back of the car

– currently not an available option. A

number of us are looking further afield

for test bookings so our learners will take

the test in an unfamiliar area.

Quite right too! A driver who is ready

for the test should be able to drive in any

area and in any road conditions. I am

aware, too, that examiners are helpful

with such things as, for example, lane

selection if markings are unclear and the

junction is unusual. These are the things

that, as drivers, we would point out to a

‘stranger in town’.

I remember the first time I sat in the

back on a new test route and took a

deep breath as I understood what my

student was being asked to do: turn right

at the end of a small road and then a

very tight turn onto the dual carriageway

and an almost immediate U-turn at the

first gap with bollards. Now it may be

that some instructors teach this

particular manoeuvre, but it had not

occurred to me to do so. The carriageway

was clear, and my pupil was successful

although she had to check that she had

understood the examiner correctly.

I now specifically put my pupils

through this same manoeuvre to make

sure they understand what is required

and can execute it safely.

There is a roundabout near me at

which you select the right-hand lane to

go ahead but there is no signage and

only one arrow which you are unlikely to

spot in time because it will be obscured

by vehicles in front. Do I warn my

learners on approach? Of course I do.

So, it has been suggested that our

local association develop an app giving

details, pictures and guidance to new

ADIs or those from out of town on the

particular pitfalls of the local test routes.

It would be at minimal cost and would

give them membership of our group.

This is still only an idea; we are not

rushing a decision.

I can’t make up my mind. In principle,

I am probably against. In reality, we need

members and, more importantly, a

learner on test is far more concerned

about getting it wrong. Let’s face it, as an

experienced driver coming up against a

really whacky road layout, we might

make a mistake and start waving

apologies while we sort ourselves out.

New drivers post-test, if they have been

well taught, will be able to do the same

– but not on the test!

Offsetting your carbon footprint

Over the past months I’ve been looking

at greener cars in particular. Let’s have

a closer look at what we can do to put

something back rather than just take,

take, take, says Guy Annan.

Climate change is a challenge facing

every one of us. Our responsibility

starts with measuring our harmful

emissions, or carbon footprint.

Nearly every activity releases carbon

dioxide (C0 2

) and other greenhouse

gases that are contributing to climate

change. When we eat food, that food

has been grown somewhere, it’s been

harvested, processed and transported.

All of these steps require energy, which

presently largely means fossil fuels.

A carbon offset plan is a way to

compensate for your emissions by

funding an equivalent CO 2

saving

elsewhere. Our everyday actions

consume energy and produce carbon

emissions; carbon offsetting is used to

balance out these emissions by helping

to pay for emission savings in other

parts of the world.

So what can we do? Every little

helps, as the saying goes.

• Recycling is good but if you don’t

get it in the first place you won’t need

to recycle.

• Keep stuff out of landfill, repair or

up cycle.

• If you’re not sure if you can repair

it, You Tube it.

Food is a big issue; buy without

packaging, so there’s less to recycle.

Food production is responsible for a

quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions

– with more than half of food emissions

from animal

products.

Finally, eat

what you buy:

approximately 30

per cent of food

produced never reaches the table.

While transport is the biggest

contributor to CO 2

emissions in the UK

(28% of our total CO 2

output) it’s our

domestic transport that is the most

significant source of emissions,

accounting for some 15 per cent of the

total for transport.

So switch to electrical or hydrogen

vehicles, reuse and recycle, think

before you buy and reforest the earth

– because the future literally is what

we make it if we are to survive the

climate crisis.

36

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

ADIs have golden chance to raise their

prices to a realistic level at last

Russell Jones

MSA GB East Midlands

The phrase ‘fish in a barrel’ has become

part of daily conversations in our world.

Why? Because ADI phones are ringing

red hot, with requests from people keen

to start driving lessons. But there is no

space in instructors’ diaries, and with

only 24 hours in each day, it is likely to

be months before ‘situation normal’

returns to driver training schedules.

You would think all ADIs would be

happy about this, but no, there is always

someone to claim ‘It’s too much work!’’.

Such a person was in Lincoln Test

Centre recently, and when he was

advised by a fellow instructor to raise his

lesson prices to control the ‘problem’, he

claimed his local franchisor would not do

that because most of the franchisees

would leave to work for themselves.

That is something I can see

happening, when ambitious ADIs wake

up and smell the coffee, as they realise

working as an independent instructor is a

great idea, with very attractive

incentives. Grab the chance now is what

I chipped in with, don’t miss the boat.

16-year-old PIP learner and

Covid-19 restrictions

I recently mentioned a 16-year-old

learner who was claiming PIP and

continuing her training throughout the

Covid-19 lockdown, largely supervised

by her mother.

Her driving test had been postponed a

couple of time, but as we gained a

definite test appointment for her, and

taking legal advice that contravened

DVSA’s provocative statement, ‘You must

not conduct driving lessons during

lockdown’, I resumed driving lessons

with her, with complete protection

protocols. I found it very easy to recall

my experience when undergoing Nuclear,

Biological, and Chemical (NBC) training

and was able to work safely in the

prevailing conditions.

I’m pleased to say that she passed her

test recently with just two driver faults.

She used her own car, the same one we

had conducted all her lessons in.

It changed her life immediately, as I

assisted her with the telephone call to

inform her insurance company about the

change of circumstances.

On returning home, she drove away to

her workplace, where her mother is a

senior manager, while I transferred to my

own car and headed to another customer.

Flexibility, perseverance, and

application of common sense can be

such valuable assets to society.

Disappointment and success

The last day of 2020 was due to be a

happy day for Michelle, 39, who was

hoping to pass her driving test, and her

up-market new company car would have

been ordered for her sole use.

‘‘

Flexibility, perseverance

and application of common

sense can be such valuable

assets to society

‘‘

She works in the communications

business and her company had financed

all her driving lessons, with me invoicing

the firm once every couple of months.

However, despite evidence that she

qualified for driving lessons and a driving

test under the emergency services

criteria, DVSA denied her the opportunity

to take such a test earlier in the year.

They claimed that her employment role

was ‘not emergency services enough’ to

‘‘

‘Fish in a barrel’,

has become part of

daily conversations

in the world of driver

training. Why? ADIs

phones are ringing

red hot

‘‘

qualify in their view.

Nevertheless, she continued working

from home throughout the year and I

was doing likewise on the occasional

basis where it was considered necessary,

so her driver training continued unabated

with lessons once or twice each week.

However, on December 30, while

taking her last lesson prior to her

scheduled test the next day, we received

information that lockdown was due to

start again late that night.

Utter despair descended in the car, so

we trundled home and later found her

rescheduled test appointment for March

would also receive the ‘lockdown

treatment’.

Finally, in early May, the magic

moment happened; she passed her test,

quite easily too, but given the few

hundred hours training she had, it was

small wonder that she succeeded.

More fish

As for myself, I dipped my hand into

my own ‘fish barrel’ and resumed

‘normal’ working.

However, there are no circumstances

whatsoever which will see me sat by a

riverbank dangling a line, hook and

sinker into the water hoping for some

unfortunate minnow to take a bite. No

way, Jose!

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates from your area, contact

Russell at rjadi@hotmail.com

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

37


Regional News

Time to sort it out, DVSA, before the

current chaos gets even worse

Guy Annan

MSA GB Western

I have to ask, DVSA, what are you

playing at? If they really believe in the

mission statement ‘Safe driving for life’

and are committed to a safer standard of

driving, then they’d better act fast.

The theory tests that expire during

lockdown could have been extended; not

doing so was so unfair. The reason given

is that they are a ‘certificate in law’;

hmmm, isn’t the car MOT certificate a

‘certificate in law’ and that was

extended!

It is also unfair that the DVSA has not

found a way to prioritise those students

who had their practical tests cancelled

during lockdowns; many have ended up

at the back of the queue with a test in

September some four months later!

At the end of the first lockdown those

who were affected were prioritised and

rightly so, but that hasn’t happened since.

I have pupils whose jobs depend on

them passing their test soon and they are

being told to wait until September, while

others who are going to Uni this autumn

and now can’t take it: disgraceful!

One of my instructors has a test date

for a pupil but no time! Perhaps they

should go there for the whole day and

wait to be called!

Taunton is supposed to have seven

examiners with six tests each per day but

often there are only two working.

The DVSA said they would be calling

in ex-examiners and anyone within the

DVSA who still had warrant cards would

help out in the crisis to bring the waiting

list down, so where are they?

One other point: I was talking to an

examiner recently who said the staff

were fed up with the lack of cleanliness

of the cars and the low standard of

driving submitted by the pupils from the

School of Mum and Dad as well as the

no shows; there was also a query as to

the number of candidates from outside

the county.

Test booking apps

Some instructors don’t book driving

tests for their students but I always have.

I find it easier to control my diary and to

regulate when the pupil is ready and to

help them through the stressful time. But

now, with tests at such a premium, it’s

a free for all, and it’s not just book a test

if you can get one it is now bringing it

forward to as soon as possible.

What we need is for instructors only to

book the tests as we are the ones best

placed to say whether they are ready or

not to take it.

You can’t book your own hospital

appointments, you have to be referred by

a doctor. Why should driving tests be

treated any differently?

How is it that if you try and book a

test using the correct routes, nothing is

available, but if you use an app you

could possibly get one within two weeks.

Is this the new norm? Do we all have to

start spending money on each test to

book one now?

One service charges £16.99 to find

you an earlier test or your money back.

Now that’s a nice little earner for

someone. Apparently on its website it

says that they search for driving test

cancellations 24 hours a day and take

them away from the public pool for a

period of time, giving you exclusive

access. Well, this just isn’t right; the

computer system belongs to the DVSA.

Surely they can stop or at least delay this

from happening?

The DVSA is supposed to support us,

God knows they come down hard on us

if they think we’re not doing the job right.

Where is their help now and why do they

continue to allow these companies to use

priority software that lets them check the

DVSA booking system?

When I book a test on the official site it

says it will notify me if an earlier date

comes available; well, it never has yet.

As a result we are losing out.

This is affecting our business and it

seems like the DVSA couldn’t care less

because at the end of the day, they’ll get

their money anyway.

An instructor friend of mine was called

by a man in London who wanted lessons

in Taunton so he could be ‘test route

ready’ for his test on May 22.

During the call my friend logged on to

the DVSA booking site and it said that

there were NO tests available and yet

this chap could book it on his app.

I’ve been told off the record that the

app issue has been raised at the DVSA

as it is being linked to low pass rates.

It appears that if you’re on an app you

can get a test; if not, forget it.

Perhaps the issue isn’t with the DVSA

or the apps but with the instructors who

will take these last-minute people to test.

If the instructors all stopped doing it the

pupil would be forced to do it in their

own car. It wouldn’t be long before the

DVSA say that the test can only be done

in a dual-controlled car.

Why can’t the DVSA just allow all

instructors to book tests through the

business booking site? After all, that’s

what it’s for. I think that would solve the

whole mess of tests being wasted.

Maybe a reply from Mark Winn about

his concerns over this issue would be

appropriate.

Ever wondered what the driver identification marker at the

side of the motorways means?

‘A’ On the sign means Away from the start of the

motorway.

‘B’ Means Back towards the start of the

motorway.

‘J’ Exit from ‘A’ carriageway

‘K’ Access to an ‘A’ carriageway

‘L’ Exit from a ‘B’ carriageway

‘M’ Access to a ‘B’ carriageway

Letters ‘C’ and ‘D’ are for service roads adjacent to the

main carriageway eg, for depot access.

The reason this terminology is used within the Traffic

Officer Service is to ensure there is a common

language across the strategic road network, to

identify locations for attending incidents while

also requesting additional resources such as

emergency services, service providers and

recovery operators, to ensure efficient incident

attendance and clearance.

38

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

The rise and rise of the e-scooter

The Government has extended its official

trials of rental e-scooters until March

2022.

The trials, which got underway in July

2020, are designed to help the

Government assess the benefits of

e-scooters – in particular their impact on

public space, motor traffic, the

environment and safety.

They were fast-tracked in a bid to ease

pressure on public transport during the

Covid-19 pandemic.

To date, approximately 50 towns and

cities across the UK have launched

e-scooter rental schemes, which were

due to end in August this year.

However, the decision has been made

to extend the trials until March 2022 in

a bid to enable the Government to gather

the “most comprehensive evidence”.

The extension means legislation on the

use of rental e-scooters is now unlikely to

come into effect until mid-2023, the

RAC says.

The Department for Transport (DfT)

said: “To ensure we get the most

comprehensive evidence from trials,

including those that have started more

recently, the end date for trials has been

extended to 31 March 2022.”

E-scooters have been a huge favourite

with young people, particularly those

living in cities, who see them as an

alternative to motorbikes/scooters and

mopeds for short-distance urban

journeys. However, the rules around their

use are confusing, to say the least.

So what are the rules on e-scooters?

We know there’s still a lot of confusion

about e-scooters, including where you

can and can’t ride them. We’ve pulled

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

together a helpful list of everything you

need to know to combat some of the

myths.

When and where can I ride an e-scooter

legally?

While e-scooters are legally available

to purchase, it’s currently against the law

to ride a privately owned e-scooter in

any public place in the UK. This includes

roads, pavements, parks, town centres or

canal towpaths.

The only place a privately owned

e-scooter can be used is on private land.

This is because e-scooters are

classified as Personal Light Electric

Vehicles (PLEVs) so they are treated as

motor vehicles.

As such, if they are used on a road,

pavement or public place they are

subject to the same legal requirements

as any motor vehicle.

Here are the penalties for using a ‘motor

vehicle’ on a road or other public place:

Without insurance - 6 points, £300

fine, seizure of the vehicle

Without a licence - penalty points,

fine, seizure of the vehicle

Failing to comply with Construction &

Use legislation - ranging from a nonendorsable

fixed penalty to being

reported to court for using in a dangerous

condition

Impaired by alcohol/drugs - licence

disqualification, fine or penalty points

We understand that e-scooters are very

tempting for presents, but we would urge

people to fully understand the law first.

If officers find anyone using e-scooters

in a public place, the scooter may be

seized, and the rider reported for any

offences.

We would also urge anyone using an

e-scooter legally – ie, on private land – to

carefully consider their safety before

doing so. All riders should wear a

helmet, younger riders particularly, would

benefit from additional protective

clothing such as knee and elbow pads to

minimise injury.

More information at this link:

Click here for

the full story

39


Q& A with ...

Helping pupils with learning difficulties

overcome the odds is highlight of my job

This issue’s Q&A with... puts the

spotlight on Julie Thompson

of JT Driving in Durham

When did you become an ADI, and

what made you enter the profession?

I’ve been an ADI for 12 years. I came

into the profession because I was looking

for a new career and teaching driving

seemed to give me the things I was

looking for.

What’s the best bit about the job?

Teaching individuals with learning

difficulties. It’s hard to describe the joy I

feel when I hear they have passed; many

had previously been told they would

never learn to drive

And the worst?

Sadly, other people on the road,

particularly how they respond to

learners. I think road rage against learner

drivers is getting worse and more

dangerous.

What’s the best piece of training advice

you were ever given?

Never give up on a pupil or yourself.

What one piece of kit, other than your

car and phone, could you not do without?

Diary. Sounds old fashioned but trust

me, I couldn’t live without it!

What needs fixing most urgently in

driving generally?

The attitude of young drivers and that

of their parents, many of whom don’t

listen to what they are being told.

What should the DVSA focus on?

Safety for all ADIs.

What’s the next big thing that’s

going to transform driver

training/testing?

The advent of more people

switching to electric cars is

going to be huge for our

profession. The other thing

that’s going to be big, and

is connected to that latter

point, is getting people to

change to automatic.

Electric cars – yes or no? And why?

A big yes. Why? We need to save our

planet.

How can we improve driver testing/

training in one move?

It would be good if the powers that be

listened to ADIs more and took our

advice on board. We’re pretty

knowledgeable about our jobs, you

know!

Who/what inspires you, drives you on?

My pupils, especially those who are

autistic.

What keeps you awake at night?

Work and how to fit everyone in.

No one is the finished article. What do

you do to keep on top of the game?

Try to keep on learning as I go. At the

moment I’m taking a course on autism

and learning difficulties to help me

develop the way I teach pupils with such

conditions.

What’s the daftest /most dangerous

thing that’s ever happened to you while

teaching?

I once had a pupil bring the car to an

abrupt halt as they were convinced there

was a mouse in the road and they didn’t

want to hit it.

It was a leaf.

As for the dangerous, the reocurring

problem is impatient drivers who are so

desperate get past a learner that they

overtake after we’ve indicated and

positioned clearly to turn right. I’ve had a

number of very near misses.

When or where are you happiest?

At home with my poodle after a good

day at work.

If you had to pick one book/film/album

that inspires, entertains or moves you,

what would it be?

To answer all three: I would

recommend ADIs read Adults with

Autism. Favourite film is The Killing

Fields. Favourite music, anything by

Abba.

Always a

crowd-pleaser.

Perennial pop

favourites Abba

40

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


Thanks, Nils, you saved

about a million

Guy Annan

MSA GB Western

Every wondered about the history of the

humble but life-saving seatbelt? Until

1966, cars were often made without

them; manufacturers offered them as an

optional extra!

That’s why, if you own a classic car and

no seat belts are fitted as standard, you

have no legal obligation to have them

fitted.

But did you know that they used to be

less safe for women? When safety

regulations were originally imposed in the

1960s, male crash test dummies were

used to test seat belts – they were taller,

heavier and, of course, with flatter chests.

This resulted in female drivers being 47

per cent more likely to be seriously injured

in a car crash, because the seat belts

were never designed to protect their body

type.

It was only recently (in 2011) that the

first female crash test dummy was

required for safety testing.

As many people know, the iconic

three-point seat belt was invented in

1959 by Nils Bohlin, an engineer at

Volvo. Before then, seat belts, when

fitted, took the form of a rudimentary

two-point waist restraint.

Essentially, if your vehicle has seat belts

you legally have to wear them. The law

changed in 1989 to make it a legal

requirement for children travelling in the

back of cars to wear seat belts, followed

by another rule change in 1991 which

dictated adult passengers must also wear

seatbelts in the back of cars.

In a road traffic accident you are nearly

twice as likely to die if you are not

wearing a correctly fitted seatbelt.

Older children must wear seat belts

– while anyone over 14 is responsible for

themselves for belting up. In the rear

seats of small minibuses, passengers

must wear seat belts or use an

appropriate child restraint.

The driver is responsible for ensuring

under-14s are suitably restrained.

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin demonstrates

his revolutionary three-point seat belt.

The device is estimated to have saved

more than a million lives since its

widespread introduction in the 1960s

Classic touch to Young Driver portfolio

Youngsters up to seven years under the

legal driving age will be able to take to the

wheel of three iconic British-made classic

cars in a new training programme from

Young Driver.

Youngsters aged 10 and over can take a

spin in a Vauxhall VX490, Morris Minor or

Austin 7 with a fully qualified ADI by their

side. Adults will also be welcome to

sample the driving dynamics of three of

Britain’s most famous cars, one of which

dates back almost 90 years.

Young Driver, which more typically

offers lessons to 10-17 year olds in

Vauxhall Corsa SE Premiums, launched

the new programme at the British Motor

Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire, on

May 22 with the help of motoring expert

and TV presenter Quentin Willson.

Of the three cars, the 1963 VX490 HB

is one of only 10 currently registered with

the DVLA. Having driven just 21,000

miles, it’s a remarkably well-preserved

example of Vauxhall’s top sporting saloon

of the 60s complete with wood dash,

sports gearbox and six ancillary gauges.

The 1934 Austin 7 Ulster Replica is

cute, lively and amazingly fun to drive

with cycle wings, fish tail exhaust and

fold down windscreen, while the 1959

Morris Minor convertible is a classic

British icon that radiates fun, charm and

50s period loveliness.

Sue Waterfield at Young Driver, said:

“These cars appeal to everyone, they’re

absolutely stunning and great fun to drive.”

More at www.youngdriver.com

A young driver in the Austin 7

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

41


Motoring: Ford Puma

Colin Regan

I was delighted to have the chance to

test the new Ford Puma – the model

tested being the Puma 1.0L MHEV

ST-LINE X E/Boost 5DR

Quite a mouthful, isn’t it, but perhaps

the most important bit, apart from the

word ‘Puma’ obviously, is the acronym

MHEV: for the uninitiated it stands for

Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle, and it could

be the ideal entry point to electric

motoring for you and your pupils.

Putting my cards on the table, I’ve

always been a Ford man; indeed, I have

driven Fiestas for the past ten years, so

it’s clear that I like Ford as a marque.

The Puma does nothing to threaten

that link; it’s a marvellous addition to the

Ford stable. My first impression was a

very stylish, eye-catching model from the

off. Both myself and my partner loved

the swept-back glass roof, the slightly

bug eyed headlights and chunky lines;

we were off to a pretty good start. Judge

for yourself, the photographs here are of

the test car.

Slipping behind the wheel, into a very

comfortable cockpit on very supportive

seats, it was time to put the Puma

through its paces. The first thing I had to

do was familiarise myself with the very

different cockpit in front of me. When

you switch from an older, perhaps more

basic car, there are so many new features

to get used to it can be mind-blowing.

The Puma is miles away from my current

Fiesta; it’s over a year old and a base

model. It was a bit like my education; I

was given a great opportunity but could I

fully utilise it? Thankfully I had the Puma

for two weeks so I had ample opportunity

to learn.

If you’re looking for the technical spec,

it’s best to refer to the panel on the

facing page for the full details. But from

my point of view the Puma performed

admirably. Just to give you an outline of

the ground covered, we live in Ashton in

Makerfield (Wigan, if you prefer) and the

chance to test the Puma co-incided with

a holiday in Cornwall. So we covered

plenty of motorway miless, A roads, B

roads, rural roads, single tracks and lots

of tight village streets, too. All-in-all a

pretty thorough test but one that the

Puma took comfortably in its stride in

every department.

The first box ticked was the boot

space. Ford has been very clever in the

way it has utilised the ‘spare wheel’ well

which is covered by a shelf for additional

space. We normally have to utilise the

back seats of our Fiesta when we go on

holiday, to take our luggage, but we got

42

Watch out,

there’s a new

Puma in

Cornwall!

everything we wanted in the Puma’s boot

as it is surprisingly big. Not only is that

safer it’s also a relief from a security

point of view, as there is nothing on

display for the opportunist thieves who

sometimes target motorway services or

car parks.

I liked the height of the car for a start.

I am not the tallest chap but the Puma

sits so much higher than my Fiesta that

it gives a commanding view of the road,

and made the overall driving experience

very enjoyable.

The motorway drive was a sheer joy as

the Puma cruised along quite happily in

sixth gear but was happy to pick up the

pace again whenever traffic flow meant

temporary reduced speeds.

The motorway cruise gave me a

chance to check out the traffic detecting

sensors – the first time I have

experienced these. They are located on

the wing mirrors and while it took a short

while to get used to them, I found them

a real help on the motorway.

Fuel consumption is obviously vital

information for ADIs. The trip to Cornwall

is a regular one and usually we fill up

before we set off, hoping to arrive with

around 100 miles left in the tank. It says

a lot about the Puma that I arrived with

more than 140 miles left, which I was

very happy with.

You can thank the Puma’s EcoBoost

Hybrid technology for this. The Puma

incorporates an electric motor with a

48-volt battery to improve efficiency. This

mild hybrid powertrain won’t drive solely

on electric power; instead the electric

motor supports the petrol engine when

needed, delivering extra power equivalent

to 16 PS and up to 20 per cent better

acceleration. The motor also uses

regenerative braking technology to

recharge the battery, helping to increase

fuel economy, and reduce CO 2

emissions.

Plus, there’s no need to connect your

Puma to an external power source, as

the 48-volt battery pack is recharged

while you drive.

It helps deliver impressive fuel

economy and noticeably lower CO 2

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


Want to know

more?

Email Nicola Pierson for

product information, at

npierso3@ford.com

For Vehicle quotes, contact

Chris Jones at chris.jones@

vertumotors.com

emissions than non-hybrids, and all with no

compromise to what is an outstanding, fun

to drive performance. Its mated to an

advanced seven-speed automatic dualclutch

transmission (DCT) which offers a

smooth, seamless, less demanding drive,

particularly in stop-start traffic.

While it was very happy on the

motorway, it was once we left the M6/M5

behind that the Puma really came into its

own. The A30 was taken in its stride, with

plenty of low gear oomph for acceleration,

and taut handling on the smaller, narrower

roads in the myriad of small towns, villages

and country lanes that are dotted across

Cornwall. From a pupil’s point of view, the

distance/collision sensors are great for

gauging the gaps when negotiating tight

passing places and narrow streets. I also

found the reversing camera to be of great

use. Again it’s something I have never had

the benefit of but something that I found

useful in some of the tighter parking spots.

Sightseeing drives play a big part in our

holiday as we love Cornwall and like to see

as much as we can on both coasts. While

we have always been happy with the

Fiesta, the Puma took things to another

level. Undoubtedly it being a high-end

model helped but driver and passenger

comfort are a step above the Fiesta, and

you can expect that throughout the Puma

range. The all-round visibility is excellent; it

gave me a great view of the road and other

traffic – while my partner enjoyed an

improved view of the countryside! The glass

roof is another great feature that gives a real

feeling of space and light in the cabin.

Overall I enjoyed the car immensely. We

signed up to our latest Fiesta in January on

a three-year lease, so we’ll be sticking with

that for a while but I’ll have my eye on a

Puma deal as soon as the current lease deal

comes close to finishing.

I love my Fiesta but my eyes have been

opened to other options by the way in

which the Puma both looks and performs.

Technical details: Ford Puma

n New Ford Puma features a range of

advanced, EcoBoost hybrid petrol

options.

n It incorporates a small electric

motor providing additional support to

the petrol engine

n The separate battery pack powers

the electric motor, recharging while

you drive

n EcoBoost engine is available in

125PS or 155PS hybrid options

WHY HYBRID?

The Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle

(MHEV) helps improve engine

efficiency and reduce CO 2

, as well as

improving the vehicle’s dynamic

performance

Ford’s exclusive

offers for ADIs

Some exciting news for members:

Ford has partnered with MSA GB to

offer exclusive discounts on all car

and commercial Ford vehicles.

Take a look at the Ford website

www.ford.co.uk for vehicle and

specification information.

For further information, to view

frequently asked questions, to

request a quote and to access the

member discount codes, please go to

the Members’ Benefits page on the

MSA GB website (www.msagb.com)

and follow the Ford link.

Please note these discounts are only

available to MSA GB members and

their immediate family if they are

members who pay annually.

KEY BENEFITS

n Substitutes engine torque with

electric torque to reduce load on

engine at low speed

n Reduce load on engine by providing

power to ancillaries

n Recover energy to the battery

during foot-off and braking

n Enhanced start-stop (stop in gear,

low speed free rolling)

n Deliver torque in addition to base

engine torque

EXCEPTIONAL FUEL ECONOMY:

n Urban cycle 56.5mpg

n Extra Urban 70.6

n Combined 65.6

n CO 2

: 133g/km

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021

43


Membership

Members’ discounts and benefits

MSA GB has organised a number of exclusive discounts and offers for members. More details can be found on our website at

www.msagb.com and click on the Member Discounts logo. To access these benefits, simply log in and click on the Member

discount logo, then click the link at the bottom of the page to allow you to obtain your special discounts.

Please note, non-members will be required to join the association first. Terms and conditions apply

Ford launches special offer

for MSA GB members

Some exciting news for members: Ford has partnered with

MSA GB to offer exclusive discounts on all car and

commercial Ford vehicles.

Take a look at the Ford website www.ford.co.uk for vehicle

and specification information.

For further information, to view frequently asked questions,

to request a quote and to access the member discount

codes, please go to the Members’ Benefits page on the MSA

GB website and follow the Ford link.

Please note these discounts are only available to MSA GB

members and their immediate family if they are members

who pay annually.

ACCOUNTANCY

MSA’s Recommended

Accountancy Service, FBTC

offers a specialist service for

driving instructors. It has been

established over 20 years ago and

covers the whole of the UK. The team takes

pride in providing unlimited advice and

support to ensure the completion of your tax

return is hassle free, giving you peace of mind.

MSA OFFER:: FBTC will prepare you for

Making Tax Digital and will be providing

HMRC compliant software to all clients very

soon. Join now to receive three months free.

ADVANCE DRIVING

AND RIDING

IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s

largest road safety charity, is

proud to partner with the

Motor Schools Association GB in

order to work together to make our roads

safer through driver skills and knowledge

development.

MSA OFFER:: Enjoy a 20% saving on our

Advanced Driver Course for MSA members.

BOOKKEEPING

Easy-to-use bookkeeping & tax spreadsheets

designed specifically for driving instructors. It

will reduce the time you need to spend on

record-keeping. Simply enter details of your fee

income and expenses throughout the year and

your trading profit, tax & national insurance

liability are automatically calculated.

MSA OFFER:: We’re proud to offer all MSA GB

members 25% discount.

CAR AIR FRESHENERS / CANDLES

Mandles’ handmade scented collections use

quality ingredients to ensure

superior scent throw from all

its candles and diffusers.

Check our our website for

further details.

MSA OFFER:: Special discount

of 20% on all car air fresheners and refills.

CARD PAYMENTS

MSA and SumUp believe in

supporting motor vehicle

trainers of all shapes and sizes.

Together we are on a mission to

ease the operational workload of our members

by providing them with the ability to take card

payments on-the-go or in their respective

training centREs. SumUp readers are durable

and user-friendly. Their paperless onboarding is

quick and efficient. Moreover, their offer comes

with no monthly subscription, no contractual

agreement, no support fees, no hidden fees

– just the one-off cost for the reader coupled

with lowest on the market transaction fee.

MSA OFFER:: We are offering MSA GB

members discounted 3G reader.

CPD & TRAINING

COURSES

As part of its new relationship

with MSA GB, Tri-Coaching is

delighted to offer a massive

20% discount across the board on all our

training products and courses, exclusively to

MSA Members.

MSA OFFER: 20% off all Tri-Coaching

courses.

DISABILITY AIDS

Driving shouldn’t just be a

privilege for people without

disabilities; it should be

accessible for all and there’s

never been an easier time to make

this the case! MSA GB members can take

advantage of BAS’s Driving Instructor

Packages which include a range of adaptations

at a discounted price, suitable for teaching

disabled learner drivers.

MSA OFFER: Special Driving Instructor

Packages for MSA members.

HEALTH / FINANCE COVER

The Motor Schools Association of Great Britain

has agreed with HMCA to offer discounted

rates for medical plans, dental plan, hospital

cash plans, personal accident

plan, travel plan, income

protection and vehicle

breakdown products.

MSA OFFER: HMCA only offer

medical plans to membership

groups and can offer up to a 40% discount off

the underwriter’s standard rates.

This is a comprehensive plan which provides

generous cash benefits for surgery and other

charges.

To get the full story of

the discounts available,

see www.msagb.com

44 NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021


For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com

Membership offer

Welcome new ADIs

We’ve a special introductory offer for you!

PUPIL INSURANCE

Help your pupils private practice

by signing them up to

Collingwood’s instructor

affiliate programme.

MSA OFFER:: £50 for your

first referral and a chance to

win £100 of High Street vouchers!

PSYCHOLOGY TRAINING

Confident Drivers has the only

website created especially for

drivers offering eight different

psychological techniques

commonly used to reduce

stress and nerves.

MSA OFFER: One month free on a monthly

subscription plan using coupon code.

PUPIL SOURCING

Go Roadie provides students

when they need them, with

all the details you need

before you accept. Control

your own pricing, discounts

and set your availability to suit

you. Full diary? No cost!

MSA OFFER: Introductory offer of 50% off

the first three students they accept.

TYRES

VRedestein’s impressive range

of tyres includes the awardwinning

Quatrac 5 and the

new Quatrac Pro – offering

year-round safety and

performance.

MSA OFFER: 10% discount on purchases

across our tyre ranges.

Congratulations on passing your

Part 3 and becoming an ADI.

There’s an exciting career

open to you from today.

It’s one that is alive with

possibilities as you build

your skills, your client

base and your income.

But for all the excitement,

it can also be a

challenging profession. Who

can you turn to if you’re

struggling to get over key driver

training issues to a pupil? Where can you

go to soak up advice from more

experienced ADIs? Who will help you if

you are caught up in a dispute with the

DVSA? If the worst happens, who can

you turn to for help, advice and to fight

your corner?

The answer is the Motor Schools

Association of Great Britain – MSA GB

for short.

We are the most senior association

representing driving instructors in Great

Britain. Establised in 1935 when the

first driving test was introduced, MSA GB

has been working tirelessly ever since on

behalf of ordinary rank and file ADIs.

We represent your interests and your

views in the corridors of power, holding

regular meetings with senior officials

from the DVSA and the Department for

Transport to make sure the ADIs’ voice is

heard.

We’d like you to join us

We’re there to support you every

step of the way. Our officebased

staff are there, five

days a week, from 9am-

5.30pm, ready to answer

your call and help you in

any way.

In addition our network of

experienced office holders

and regional officers can offer

advice over the phone or by email.

But membership of the MSA doesn’t just

mean we’re there for you if you’re in

trouble. We also offer a nationwide

network of regular meetings, seminars

and training events, an Annual

Conference, and a chance to participate

in MSA GB affairs through our

democratic structure

In addition, you’ll get a free link to our

membership magazine Newslink every

month, with all the latest news, views,

comment and advice you’ll need to

become a successful driving instructor.

You’ll also automatically receive

professional indemnity insurance worth

up to £5m and £10m public liability

insurance free of charge.

This is essential legal protection covering

you against legal claims ariving from your

tuition.

So join us today and save £25

including the first year’s joining

fee: just £60 for 12 months.

To get the full story of

the discounts available,

see www.msagb.com

SPECIAL OFFER

Join MSA GB today!

and save yourself £25

Call 0800 0265986 quoting

discount code Newslink, or join

online at www.msagb.com

Just

£60

for 12 months

membership

NEWSLINK n JUNE 2021 45

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