Newslink August

ChambermediaservicesIoD

Motor Schools Association of Great Britain; driving instructors, road safety, motoring news

msagb.com

Newslink

The Voice of MSA GB

Issue 343 • August 2021

B+E trailers:

ADIs’ fury over testing cut and

proposal to remove category

We work for all Driver Trainers. Want to join? See pg 39 for a special introductory offer


02 NEWSLINK n MAY 2021


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

DVLA woes are contributing

to more licence backlogs

Colin Lilly

Editor, Newslink

It may be a little early to think in terms

of ‘post-Covid’, but as the lockdowns and

other restrictions have eased a range of

other problems have arisen – driver

shortages, driving test waiting lists and

driving lesson availability.

Although driving school business is at

levels across the board not seen for

many years, the public find many of

these aspects frustrating.

At the centre of the issues affecting

drivers is the Driving and Vehicle

Licensing Agency (DVLA). They have

already been the subject the Transport

Select Committee evidence gathering on

two occasions this year. In January the

committee asked for information on

DVLA’s Covid-19 procedures, which led

to the biggest Covid outbreak of any

workplace. There have been, to date,

643 positive cases and one death among

the workforce at DVLA Swansea.

On the second occasion, in mid-July,

the committee were enquiring into the

backlog of applications at the establishment.

The first to give evidence were

representatives of Public and Commercial

Services (PCS) Union. Mark Serwotka,

General Secretary PCS Union, a position

he has held for 21 years, and Sarah

Evans, Branch Chair of CPS Union at

DVLA in Swansea, put much of the

problem down to the low level of home

working in the agency. Compared to

other government agencies and

departments, DVLA fared poorly in this

regard. As an example, HMRC switched

90 per cent of its workforce to home

working, and many other government

departments achieved similarly high

levels, but DVLA insisted the majority of

staff stayed working in the office. With a

policy of social distancing in the office

this has caused a gradual increase in the

backlog.

The union contends that in the Drivers

Medical area, 95 per cent of staff could

work at home. The DVLA said the

question of confidentiality was at the

core, despite the fact that the information

is available to doctors, nurses and others

in medical organisations. The union

asserted that the DVLA did not trust their

staff to work effectively from home,

which has damaged organisational

morale.

The union began industrial action in

mid-April which added to problems, but

by June 1 the union made an

‘agreement’ with local managers which

would have ended the dispute. However,

the minister refused to sign-off the

agreement and the dispute continues.

The current policy has meant that

those isolating because of contact with a

Covid case were not able to work at

home, thus reducing the efficiency of the

process.

After the union presented their

evidence, Baroness Vere, Minister for

Roads, Buses and Places, Department

for Transport appeared before the

committee, along with Julie Lennard,

Chief Executive DVLA, appearing

virtually.

They said that much of the delay was

due to the high volume of postal items,

around 60,000 items a day. To help,

they have 500 staff working each

weekend to reduce the backlog. There

remains a backlog of 1.4 million cases

spread over various licence application

issues.

While the majority of DVLA business is

conducted online, (77 per cent of licence

transactions are dealt with digitally)

much of the business cannot be handled

in that way, they said.

I can personally vouch for the fact that

the online system could be improved. My

driving licence needed to be updated last

November but was extended by 11

months. I decided that, with all the

stories of delays in handling applications,

not to wait until the last moment and so

renewed back in April.

It was suggested I could apply online

so that is what I attempted to do. I went

through the questions which were

answered as per my last licence except a

new question – ‘How long had I lived at

my current address?’.

Continued on page 6

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

to save a

copy on

your device

COVER STORY

Plans to change the B+E

licence regime has created

a huge row, with trainers

up in arms amid claims the

proposals will damage road

safety.

Pg 6, and from pg 10

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

03


28

24

32

16

News

B+E row is testing

ADIs’ patience

MSA GB leads protests as the DfT floats

proposals to cut back on B+E testing –

and even axe it altogether

– pg 6 and 10-14

DVSA round up

All the latest from the DVSA, including

new theory test centres and DTCs – and

plans for NHS Trusts to be given the

power to test its own ambulance drivers

in the future – pg 8

08

Dear Rishi... thanks

The financial impact of Covid-19 is laid

bare as the DVSA posts its Annual

Report for 2020-21 – pg 16

True price of retirement

Have you thought about the true cost of

retiring, asks Rod Came – pg 20

Mirrors, mirrors...

Top reason to fail the L-test is still poor

observation at junctions – pg 21

Be smart with your diary

management

Go Roadie has teamed up with MSA GB

to produce a new app that takes the

hassle out of diary management – pg 22

Newslink

The Voice of MSA GB

The Motor Schools Association

of Great Britain Ltd

Head Office:

Chester House,

68 Chestergate,

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

Advertising sales: Colin Regan

e: colinregan001@yahoo.co.uk

t: 01942 537959 / 07871 444922

Views expressed in Newslink are not necessarily

those of the MSA GB or the publishers.

Although every effort is

made to ensure the

accuracy of material

contained within this

publication, neither MSA

GB nor the publishers can

accept any responsibility

for the veracity of claims

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 AUGUST 2021


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

Features

Filling the delivery slots – and

keeping businesses moving

With the shortage of delivery drivers becoming

acute, Rod Came has a simple idea that will

help keep business on the move – pg 24

Looking to advance? Don’t forget

to check your own driving

When do you last have your own driving

evaluated, asks Steve Garrod? If it’s been a

while, perhaps now is the time for a quick

refresher course before bad habits creep in

that you could pass on to pupils – pg 26

Keep in

touch 1

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.

Keep in touch:

Just click on the icon

to go through to the

relevant site

2

Regional News/Views

Poor reporting and the

hidden heroes

Media should be taken to task over

how it reports on motoring, plus a

spotlight on the hidden heroes of

the NHS: the Freewheelers Blood

Bikers – pg 30

Hot, hot, hot, and ADI threatened

July was searingly hot... and presented some new problems

for drivers to content with. Elsewhere, ADI threatened by

thugs is a reminder of new dangers – pg 32

Never trust a pigeon... and in memory of a

much-missed ADI and friend

Karyn Cunningham is in the Newslink Q&A spotlight, while

a group of ADIs in East Kilbride channel their grief over the

loss of a friend to a great cause – pg 36 and 37

Follow MSA GB on social media

20

Mental health and driving

Special feature on how poor mental health

can affect your driving – and what steps you

need to take if you are struggling with anxiety

and depression – pg 28

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 AUGUST 2021

05


News

DVLA woes

creating more

licence backlogs

Continued from page 3

Up came the message ‘Your

information does not match our records’.

Despite giving the correct answers they

appear not to match their incorrect

records. End result – a needless postal

application.

Perhaps DVLA are authors of their own

problems?

Currently, the processing time for

postal applications is up to 10 weeks. A

member of the Select Committee

expressed concern as a large bus

company in their constituency was

having problems training and acquiring

drivers because of the long time taken to

issue PCV provisionals and PCV

extensions. Much the same is happening

within the haulage industry.

The MPs in committee then held a

protracted discussion around the DVLA’s

‘agreement’ as to whether it was an

agreement or a set of proposals.

In the end it is the public and business

that is suffering and there is no clear end

in sight. As Mark Serwotka stated: “I

have never encountered, in 21 years, the

level of incompetence and mismanagement

that is on display at DVLA in

Swansea.”

If you wish to view the

Select Committee session

you can watch it here:

or read the transcript

here

There is also a petition on Petitions

– UK Government and Parliament,

entitled ‘Inquiry into the DVLA’s

performance during the Covid-19

pandemic’ which questions

if DVLA is fit for purpose.

You can find it here:

B+E trailer row is testing

trainers’ patience

Peter Harvey mbe

National Chairman

MSA GB

As you will read in our main news feature

on pg 10-14, a major row has broken out

within the driver training and testing

sector after the Government announced

plans to cut the number of test slots

available for B+E testing, to create space

for more LGV tests.

The decision has, as you would expect,

gone down badly with members who are

active in this sector.

What has made it worse is that the DfT

is also floating the idea of doing away

with B+E testing altogether.

As soon as the news broke – not

through official channels but through the

pages of the Daily Telegraph – MSA GB

stepped in, talking to B+E trainers and

making our views known to the DVSA

and the DfT.

It is interesting that few people we are

in conversation with are laying claim to

the plan, and as this issue of Newslink

was being published there was still a

great deal of confusion surrounding

exactly what is being proposed.

It may well be that what we have here

is a concrete Government proposal that

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 shake up the sector – or possibly an

example of what journalists call ‘the silly

season’, that period of summer when

senior officials and Ministers are on

holiday and daft ideas come to the

surface. Who knows.

What we do know is that as Newslink

was published the MSA GB, alongside

our colleagues at NASP, wrote to the

Minister for Road Safety, Baroness Vere,

and expressed our deep misgivings about

the proposal. On many levels – road

safety, driver standards and simple

fairness to those ADIs whose businesses

rely on these tests – cutting test slots

makes little sense, while scrapping them

altogether threatens to undo two decades

of real progress on improving the safety

record of caravanners and trailer towers.

You can read more about this story on

pg 10-14, including the views of trainers,

and if you want to see exactly what NASP

told Baroness Vere, you can read it on the

MSA GB website at the link below.

Last point: this story is another example

of how MSA GB fights for its members in

the face of legislative changes that

threaten jobs or downgrade road safety.

Always remember, if you have an issue

such as this,

we will be in

your corner.

Click here for

NASP response

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 AUGUST 2021


News

DVSA confirms new theory venues

The new addresses of several theory test

centres have now been confirmed.

As part of the roll out of DVSA’s new

theory test service, the locations of many

theory test centres are changing, with a

number of new centres to open. The

seven new theory test centre venues are:

Region A (Scotland and the North)

The new test centre in Crianlarich is

at: Ground Floor, Crianlarich Village Hall,

Main Street, Crianlarich, FK20 8QN.

Elgin: Ground Floor, 147 High Street,

Elgin, Morayshire, IV30 1DS

Galashiels: Main Hall, Hope Central, 1-3

Overhaugh Street, Galashiels, TD1 1DL.

Oban: The Oak Room, The Rockfield

Centre, Linndhu House, 19 Stevenson

Street, Oban, PA34 5NA

Penrith: Ground Floor, Main Hall,

Friends Meeting House, Meeting House

Lane, Penrith, CA11 7TR.

Scarborough: 49 Westborough,

Scarborough, YO11 1UN

Stirling: Suite 2, Part of Unit 1, Ground

Floor, Lomond Court, Castle Business

Park, Stirling, FK9 4TU

Region C (East Midlands and South East)

Boston: Ground Floor, 17a Wide

Bargate, Boston, PE21 6SR.

Chelmsford: Suite 4, Second Floor,

Saxon House, 27 Duke Street,

Chelmsford, CM1 1HT.

Ilford: Pioneer Point, 3-5 Winston Way,

Ilford, IG1 2FS

Ipswich: Suite 1, Second Floor, Hubbard

House, 6 Civic Drive, Ipswich, IP1 2QA

Southgate: Unit RU3, Tally Ho Corner

High Road, London, N12 0BP

Southwark: Second Floor (South),

Manor House, 224-236 Walworth Road,

Walworth, SE17 1JE.

Watford: Unit 3, Orient Centre,

Greycaine Road, WD24 7GP

These new centres open on 6

September and tests can be booked at

GOV.UK. If your pupils need a test before

this date they can find other theory test

centres in their local area by looking on

the ‘find your nearest’ theory test page.

Consultation launched as NHS trusts look

to take over ambulance driver testing

The DVSA has launched a consultation to

see whether the driving training and

testing sector would back NHS Trusts

conducting their own driving tests for

ambulance drivers.

Currently, all ambulance driver testing is

performed by DVSA examiners. However,

some organisations are already allowed to

conduct driving tests for their own staff,

including the Ministry of Defence (MoD)

and police and fire services, under a

scheme known as ‘delegated testing’.

The current consultation would look at

extending delegated testing arrangements

to NHS ambulance services and

foundation trusts. It is also about allowing

the services to conduct driving tests for

one another, which we call ‘cross-testing’.

The DVSA says it has been thinking of

making this change for some time, which

suggests the timing is not directly linked

to the current high waiting times for car

L-tests which have led to proposals to

switch B+E licence examiners to car

testing, and potentially scrap these tests

altogether (see pg 6 and from pg 10).

The DVSA said in a statement that it

had been “our intention to make these

changes for some time. This is because

some police and fire services have told us

that they would like to co-operate in the

way that they go about driver training and

testing. More recently, the MoD has also

expressed an interest in this idea.”

It also stated that the coronavirus

pandemic “reinforced our view and gave

urgency to the need for delegated testing

to be available to NHS ambulance

services.”

“Although DVSA was able to provide

tests for ambulance drivers and

paramedics during the national lockdowns

(for England, Scotland, and Wales), the

proposal would have provided good

options and additional resilience.”

This consultation seeks your views on

these proposals. It applies to Great

Britain, but not to Northern Ireland as

driver testing there is not run by DVSA. It

includes questions about the possible

impacts on road safety and how the NHS

and emergency services might adjust their

approach to driver testing if these changes

are made.

The consultation is being conducted in

line with the government’s consultation

principles.

If you have any comments about the

consultation process email consultation@

dft.gsi.gov.uk.

To read the consultation in full, click the

panel below.

Click here for

the full story

New proposals

would see NHS

Trusts test their

own ambulance

drivers and work

more closely with

other services such

as the police and

the MoD

08

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


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

Theory boost over additional slots

More than 4,500 additional theory tests

have been added to the booking system

beween now and the start of September

after the Scottish Government relaxed

that physical distancing rules from 2

metres to 1 metre in indoor settings.

Candidates with an existing test slot

later in the year are being contacted to

see if they would like to an earlier test if

they feel ready to take their test sooner.

The new booking service is available

at the same web address as the current

DVSA opens new Shetlands base

DVSA has announced a new venue for

motorcycle module 1 and lorry tests on

the Shetland Isles.

After working closely with the local

authority, the agency has agreed to use a

new site at Scatsca Airport to provide

motorcycle and lorry tests.

These tests at the new site are

available to book now.

The full address of the new venue is

Scatsta Airport, Brae, Shetland ZE2 9QP.

Officials said they were pleased to have

one – https://www.gov.uk/book-theorytest.

If you want to change a theory test

from a date booked for before, or on 3

September, to a date on or after 6

September, you will need to cancel your

current theory test on GOV.UK and

rebook online using the new booking

system. This is because the two booking

systems are separate.

Refunds will be paid in the usual way

from the old booking system.

found a new venue that could open

immediately after the closure of the

previous site on July 31.

Callander driving test centre to re-open

The DVSA has confirmed that the

part-time driving test centre at Callander

will re-open for testing on November 16.

Test appointments at the centre have

been added to the booking system.

The address is Callander Youth Hostel,

6 Bridgend, Callander FK17 8AH.

Extra time to find

extra examiners

The DVSA’s push to appoint new driving

examiners saw it extend the deadline for

applications to August 2. The extension

was to the second phase of recruitment,

which is looking to appoint 109

examiners in a number of DVSA regions,

including London and South-East

England; East England and the East

Midlands; South and South-West

England; the Manchester area; and

Cardiff. Overall, the agency is looking to

recruit 300 new examiners as it looks to

reduce test waiting times.

New Chair for DVSA

The DVSA has appointed Nick Bitel

appointed as its Non-Executive Chair.

He replaces Shrin Honap, who stood

down at the end of June. In the forward

to the 2020-2021 DVSA Annual Report

Mr Honap paid tribute to the

commitment of DVSA staff as the

agency responsed to the Covid-19

pandemic

• DVSA Annual Report review:

See page 16

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

09


News - B + E Trainer row

B+E trainers up in arms as

criticism mounts over plans

MSA GB has stepped in to support

instructors who conduct B + E training

after the DVSA/DfT announced that such

tests would be reduced considerably in

the short term to allow for more LGV

tests, and potentially could be scrapped

in the long term.

One member said the plans

demonstrated the DfT/DVSA’s blatant

disregard for people’s livelihoods, while

others criticised a policy that could have

a major impact on lowering driving

standards. Chris Allen from Go Towing

told MSA GB that “the idea of a 17-yearold

passing their test and hooking up a

two-tonne caravan before driving down

the M1 on their first motorway drive is

utter madness.”

The policy has been suggested as a

solution to the current severe shortage of

LGV drivers in the UK, which is having a

disastrous knock-on effect on a host of

business supply chains, including for

food, medicines and fuel.

The driver shortage is being blamed on

a sharp fall in the number of EU

nationals working in the UK haulage

sector since Brexit. Since the end of last

year, when the UK formally left EU rules

on road haulage, LGVs cannot utilise

fully the cabotage scheme. This has

removed many European trucks from UK

roads which previously had completed

extra pick-ups and deliveries in addition

to their original load. Evidence also

points to many EU nationals who drove

in the UK but have now returned home,

citing concerns over Brexit and Covid-19.

Whatever the reasons, many businesses

within the retail, construction and

logistics sectors face acute difficulties in

What the trainers say...

obtaining the drivers they need for their

operations, with some retailers predicting

the scarcity of drivers will lead to

shortages in the shops, particularly food.

To help ease the shortage, the DfT

plans to increase LGV testing to get more

UK drivers behind the wheel – but at a

price. The number of B+E trailer tests

will be reduced so examiners can be

The driving licence regulations state

that if you passed your car driving

test on or after 1 January 1997 you

can:

• drive a car or van up to 3,500kg

maximum authorised mass (MAM)

towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM

• tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as

long as the combined MAM of the

trailer and towing vehicle is no more

than 3,500kg

re-allocated to LGVs, and this plan is

causing huge concern for those ADIs

whose principal business is this testing.

More worrying, ADIs have been asked

for their views on ending the need to take

a B+E test in the future, allowing car

licence holders to tow a caravan or trailer

without further training or taking a test.

MSA GB national chairman Peter

Harvey said the decision to reduce B+ E

testing slots had caught many by

surprise. “When the news broke we were

inundated with complaints from members

who conduct B+E training. Coming on

the back of the pandemic, when many

ADIs have had little or no work, it has

come as a body-blow.”

Peter cited concerns over safety

standards and whether licence holders

were capable of handling the extra

challenges posed by towing a trailer or

caravan as reasons to question the

wisdom of both decisions, while noting

the disastrous impact scrapping B+E

trailer tests long-term would have on

those ADIs who focused on them.

He said: “It really feels as if the DfT is

planning to rip the rug from under the feet

of a number of dedicated road safety

professionals without real reason to do so.

“We do not agree with reducing B+E

testing, but at least a case can be made

to justify it in the very short-term. Axeing

them all together seems nonsensical.

“If, as appears, the Government and

the logistics sector have been caught out

by Brexit reducing the number of drivers

available, this is an issue that should

have been sorted out years ago – indeed,

it should have been considered before

the referendum in 2016. To only

acknowledge the problem now, five years

later, and to try to solve the issue by

introducing policies that will destroy the

livelihoods of driver trainers, is a dreadful

example of knee-jerk decision-making

and begs the question, is anyone in

Westminster taking note of the

Karl Hunt, B+E trainer,

in an open letter to MPs

“I appreciate that there is a need to

increase the testing capacity for LGVs

but I find it incredulous that the

Government is considering removing the

need for an additional test for B+E

entitlement.... this will not do anything

to maintain or improve driving standards

and reduce KSI figures. If anything it will

increase the number of incidents involving

vehicles towing trailers up to 3500kg.

“The national pass rate for B+E driving

tests was 69.6% for 2019/20 and only

58% for 2020/21 – therefore 30-42% of

people taking this test are unable to

demonstrate the minimum standard of

driving and competence to do so.

“A Government report – Trailer Safety

Report – identified 983 collisions

involving vehicles towing single, multiple

trailers and caravan (B+E category) of

which 358 were assigned to peoplerelated

contributory factors, ie, the driver;

this is five times higher than contributory

factors assigned to either vehicle or road

individually as contributory factors!

“This would indicate that there is a

need for formal testing of drivers with a

requirement to tow on the road, and that

the removal of such testing would do

nothing to help with improving driving

standards and safety on UK roads.”

10

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


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

‘‘

The public demand for B+E

training has been growing faster

than the demand for LGV for

the past six years, it makes no

sense to penalise one category

at the expence of another

‘‘

consequences of such decisions?”

B+E trainers have reacted with fury

over the decision. Chris Allen from Go

Towing told MSA GB that abolishing the

B+E category was “ill thought out”, and

asked what would happen when UK

licence holders try to take their caravan

without passing a BE test? “Will they be

allowed to tow in a country that does still

have this licence category?”

He added that the idea of “a 17-yearold

passing their test and hooking up a

two-tonne caravan before driving down

the M1 (on their first motorway drive) is

utter madness.”

Matt Price of Matt Price Driver Training

said the need for keeping B+E training

and testing was paramount: “I’ve been in

this sector for 15 years and I’ve never

had a driver who didn’t require some

extra training – even the best candidates.

They need to learn how to use the door

mirrors and understand the length of the

vehicle.”

He also queried where the demand

was coming from. “It’s okay for the

Government to say we need more LGV

drivers but are there enough people

coming forward for tests? As far as I can

see the waiting list for LGV exams is only

around six weeks at present in my area.

This was a belief echoed by Karl Hunt,

another experienced trainer working in

this sector. In a letter to MPs he said: “A

Government report, Trailer Safety Report,

identified 983 collisions involving

vehicles towing single, multiple trailers

and caravan (B+E category) of which

358 were assigned to people-related

contributory factors, ie, the driver; this is

five times higher than contributory

factors assigned to either vehicle or road

individually as contributory factors.

Continued on page 12

Chris Allen, Go Towing: “Abolishing

B+E is ill thought out and dangerous.

What will drivers do who enter

Europe without passing a BE test?

The idea of a 17-year-old passing

their test and hooking up a 2 tonne

caravan before driving down the M1

(on their first motorway drive) is utter

madness.

“If B licence holders are permitted to

go straight to C+E, the pass rate for

C+E will drop from an already low

figure and training schools will be

clogged up with pupils who need

re-tests. In addition not that many

trainers can offer C+E.”

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

11


News - B + E Trainer row

Continued from page 10

An anonymous East Mids ADI pointed

out that this year will see more caravans

on the roads than ever before, as foreign

travel is curtailed by the pandemic. If

this trend were to continue in the future

with more untrained drivers, “how many

deaths or life-changing accidents does it

need to do a U turn? Is it one, 10, 100

or 1,000?”

In his experience, the driving skills of

too many motorists were not up to

towing a caravan or trailer without

guidance. “Every so-called experienced

driver I take on, I have to remind of

important essentials of basic driving. I

can only imagine the problems they can

cause with no training. Deaths will

follow.”

“This would indicate that there is a

need for formal testing and assessment

of drivers with a requirement to tow on

the road.”

‘‘

Years of lack of foresight and

mismanagement by the DVSA

has caused this examiner

shortage and instructors

should not be penalised for it...

‘‘

He also pointed out that the pass rate

for B+E tests fluctuated between 69 and

60 per cent, “therefore 31-40% of

people taking this test are unable to

demonstrate the minimum standard of

driving and competence to do so.”

Fellow B+E trainer Les Britton was

appalled that the information first

appeared in a leak to the Daily

Telegraph, and that news was already

having an affect: “Tests are being

cancelled already. The government is

showing an appalling disregard for

[trainers’] livelihoods.”

He added that “the public demand for

B+E training has been growing faster

than the demand for LGV for the past six

years, so it makes little sense to penalise

one category at the expense of another.”

“Respectfully, I suggest there are more

proactive and safe ways in which the

ministers can look to resolve the driver

shortage in the UK!”

Steve Thomas of Raglan Driving

Training said the plans “unfairly punish”

ADIs like him who rely on B+E training

for their livelihood. “Contrary to popular

belief, B+E Training is not conducted

solely by larger HGV training companies

as a sideline to their lorry training, but by

many solo ADIs. If you restrict my access

to tests any further, I will be out of work

overnight.”

He wondered whether anyone had

costed how much this plan could cost

the DVSA. “Pre-pandemic I would

average 120 to 135 tests per year,

generating £13,800 to £15,500 in test

fees to the DVSA; seemingly you wish to

dismiss my contribution as insignificant?

The solution to many was obvious:

recruit more examiners. “I understand

this is already in progress, but years of

lack of foresight and mismanagement by

the DVSA has caused this examiner

shortage and driving instructors should

not seemingly being penalised for it.

Steve was also concerned about the

road safety implications: “Abolishing the

B+E Test in the future would make a

complete mockery of the law for the past

24 years and of the DVSA mantra, ‘SAFE

DRIVING FOR LIFE’. All the good work in

improving road safety in the towing

sector by my profession will have been in

vain.”

However, it has to be said that not

everyone was against the proposal: A

representative of Priestly LGV Training in

Lincolnshire told MSA GB: “We

wholeheartedly agree that the best way

forward is to allow drivers to go straight

from B to C+E – from car to artic – as

they did pre-1997.

“Most of our trainees only do the Cat C

as a stepping stone to C+E as that is the

job that they are going for or have been

offered.

“So although the extra training course

is a moneymaker for the DVSA, it is of no

use to the trainee; in our opinion should

not be necessary if they only want to go

on to artic.”

12

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


‘‘‘‘

Comment

B + E plan is madness and threatens

to derail road safety advances

Rod Came

MSA South East

It probably seemed like a good idea at

the time. Go back to January 1, 1997, a

date etched in the annals of driver

training history, the date at which new

car drivers received only a licence to

drive Category B vehicles.

Cat B vehicles, goods or passenger,

have a Maximum Authorised Mass

(MAM) of 3,500kgs and have eight

passenger seats including the driver. It

seemed so simple.

Prior to this a car test pass allowed the

licence holder to drive 7,500kg goods

vehicles towing a trailer, and passengercarrying

vehicles up to 17 people

including the driver and towing a trailer.

But it was obviously not in the

interests of road safety for somebody to

pass a basic learner driver test in a Mini

and then leap into the cab of a 7.5 tonne

truck, possibly towing a heavy trailer, so

for once we had a licence change for the

better.

Of course, that was too good to last.

The first change was that once a car

driver had held a licence for two years,

whether they had driven during that time

or not, they could then drive a

16-passenger seat minibus if they were

over 21 years provided its MAM did not

exceed 3,500 kgs.

Not content with that alteration, things

were taken one step further. If the

minibus carried disabled access

equipment, for example, two small

ramps stored above the driver’s

compartment, never to be used, then the

MAM could increase to 4,250 kgs.

This left out van drivers, who were still

restricted to 3,500kgs, but that changed

when it was clear electric vans were

coming. Batteries are heavy, so to keep

car licence-holding van drivers working,

the maximum MAM for electric vehicles

was raised to 4,250kg for vans.

This all flies in the face of the original

idea of restricting the MAM new drivers

Why should the public be put

into danger to avoid the eggon-face

situation which the

DVSA finds itself in?

could pilot along the nation’s highways,

in the interests of road safety.

Now it might get worse. The DfT/DVSA

consultation paper suggests that to try

and alleviate the all too foreseeable crisis

of DVSA not being able to provide

enough practical driving test slots for the

pent-up demand, we could do away with

B + E car and trailer tests.

This would have a profound effect on

road safety.

As an ADI, just imagine some of your

clients who, having passed their category

B test, can then, without further training,

drive a 3,500 kg van towing a large

twin-axle trailer, with both carrying a

load, perhaps as much as 6,000 kgs in

total.

You may consider that a frightening

prospect, especially when they are

heading downhill toward your tuition car!

As you will have read on pg 6, and on

our special feature from page 10, many

are up in arms about this idea. NASP

has written to Baroness Vere,

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

in the Department for Transport,

indicating the disadvantages to road

users, trainers and employers of taking

such a retrograde step. It is only to be

hoped that wiser counsel will prevail and

that such an ill-conceived idea is rapidly

propelled toward the waste paper bin,

where it will probably be recycled into

some other proposal just as daft.

It has to be borne in mind that this

suggestion, which does the reverse of

improving road safety, is only being

raised to get the DVSA out of a hole

caused by a lack of driving test

examiners.

You have to ask why the public, each

and every one of us, should be put into

greater danger to avoid the egg-on-face

situation which the DVSA finds itself in?

The letter from NASP, as well argued

as it is, is unlikely to kill this proposal

stone dead. Continual pressure from all

parties involved in road safety has to be

applied, hopefully with a good outcome.

We shall have to wait and see.

• You can read the NASP letter in full

on the MSA GB website, here:

Click here for

NASP response

We are delighted to announce that MSA

GB will be hosting a series of in-person

training events and AGMs this autumn

as we get back to normal after Covid-19

restrictions.

Some are planned as evening events,

some half days and some full days. All

will feature a comprehensive rundown

of the current state of play within the

driving training and testing sector, with

great speakers to offer their own

personal insights into the key issues of

the day.

We hope you can join us at what will

be great events.

CPD Training events and AGMs

Date Area Contact for more information

28th October North East Mike: chair.ne@msagb.com

3rd November East Midlands Kate: chair.em@msagb.com

8th November Western Arthur: chair.ow@msagb.com

10th November West Midlands Geoff: deptnatchair@msagb.com

15th November Greater London Tom: chair.gl@msagb.com

15th November South East Fenella: chair.se@msagb.com

21st November Scotland Alex: chair.os@msagb.com

22nd November North West Graham: chair.nw@msagb.com

To be arranged Eastern Paul: chair.oe@msagb.com

14

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


Introducing the new

Safe Driving for Life website

The Stationery Office (TSO) and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are

proud and delighted to announce the launch of the new Safe Driving for Life (SDFL) website.

To visit, go to www.safedrivingforlife.info.

Be prepared

The new SDFL website will support

learners through their theory and driving

tests and in becoming a life-long safe

driver. With a completely fresh and clean

look, the easy-to-navigate site provides

everything learners will need to know

during their driving life.

SDFL offers all this information for free:

n Practice theory tests for all the

driving/riding categories

n Hazard Perception tests

n Road signs tests

n Visual media clip tests

It will also give learner drivers or riders

a free taster of the theory test revision

material available through a paid-for

subscription.

TSO

All the advice

The popular blogs and advice content

from the old site are included in the new

SDFL site. They provide guidance for all

road users, wherever they are in their

driving life. And this content will be

easier to find and navigate.

New Features

One of the most significant changes to

the site is in the development of updated

eLearning modules (formerly on the

Official DVSA Learning Zone).

As with the Learning Zone, the

eLearning modules will be available

through a paid-for subscription. They

cover all driving categories, including

new modules for anyone wanting to train

as an ADI. The eLearning includes all the

information an ADI needs to help prepare

learners for their theory test.

And the eLearning modules include

some exciting new benefits, based on the

most up-to-date learning science. For

example:

n Active learning – exercises and

activities designed to engage learners

and promote learning

n The Forgetting Curve – this shows

how the brain does not retain

information over time if we do not

actively try to keep it. Typically, humans

tend to halve their memory of newly

learned knowledge in a matter of days or

weeks, unless they consciously review

the learned material. SDFL takes this

into account and actively encourages

learners to keep practising as their test

date approaches, to give them the best

chance of passing

n Test Readiness Gauge – the learner

will see a gauge on SDFL’s main

eLearning dashboard, giving them an

indication of when they’re ready to take

their test. The gauge is based on

different factors, including the amount of

practice questions the learner has

answered correctly and how long they’ve

spent studying.

ADI benefits

Another added benefit for the new

website is a huge increase in

functionality for ADIs:

n Learners will be able to share their

progress through the eLearning modules

with their ADI and parents. This allows

them to work through the theory element

together.

It also helps the learner through any

elements of the theory test they may be

struggling with.

n Any ADI can use the platform free

of charge. And, the more of their learners

they get to sign up to a subscription, the

more reward points they can earn.

The ADI can then redeem these

reward points in the form of Amazon

vouchers.

Use it, enjoy it, tell us

what you think!

We hope you’re as excited as we are

about SDFL and all its new features.

There’ll be an ongoing programme of

development and enhancement and we’ll

introduce more modules and

functionality over time.

During SDFL’s development, we

welcome your feedback. So please visit

www.safedrivingforlife.info: use it, enjoy

it and let us know what you think.

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021 15


DVSA Annual Report 2020-21

Dear Rishi,

many thanks,

love DVSA

The level of financial havoc caused by

pandemic is exposed in DVSA’s Annual

Report for 2020-2021 – with the Chancellor to

be thanked for keeping the show on the road

with some hefty funding. Rob Beswick reports

This time of year is always a favourite for

the DVSA watchers among us as we pore

over the agency’s Annual Report.

It’s not light-hearted reading, and is

very dry. It doesn’t touch on the things

that ADIs are often most interested in,

such as pass rates or the impact of

changes to the L-test, but it does offer a

fascinating insight into how the agency is

faring on a business and financial level.

Guess what? The answer to that

question for 2020-21 would be, ‘not

very well’. But before anyone complains

and calls for executives’ heads,

remember that this is the Covid-19

Annual Report and as Newslink has

reported over the past 12 months, the

financial impact of Covid-19 can never

be underestimated. So many L-tests were

missed that the sensitive balancing act

that all Government departments need to

master to keep their finances in check

was nigh-on impossible.

But now the exact state of the agency’s

finances is exposed: officially, ‘Actual

income was £150.4m below budget,

mainly due to the Covid-19 related

suspensions on theory and practical

driving tests and heavy vehicle testing…’

This fall translates into a loss of £54.2m

in the 12 months covered.

And before you draw a sharp intake of

breath at that figure, bear in mind that it

isn’t the real loss: the true figure was a

deficit of a whopping £115.8m.

Bearing in mind that Government

departments are meant to be run

conservatively in a way that delivers a

small ‘profit’ back to the Treasury, and

that its overall budget for the year in

question was slated as being around

£389m, that’s a stunning figure.

Why the different numbers? That’s

where the bountiful figure of the

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi

Sunak, steps in. Sunak ‘gave’ the DVSA

‘emergency grant funding’ of £86.1m

from Treasury coffers. Of this, £66.6m

(is no-one at the DVSA or Treasury

superstition? Couldn’t they have made

that 66.7 to avoid the demonic ‘666’

figure?) was designated as ‘income’. In

other words, it was a Government gift to

replace lost test fees that the DVSA does

not have to pay back.

But while that may make the finance

director of the DVSA feel a little better, as

an ordinary taxpayer it makes for

ominous reading. After all, if a small

department such as the DVSA needs that

big a bail-out, how much public cash

went to the other, much bigger,

departments to keep the wheels turning?

But that is a wider question for another

day. Focusing purely on the DVSA, there

is the moot point of the remaining £20m

it received, which isn’t designated as

’income’. It is seen as ‘deferred income’,

meaning that the Treasury has loaned

the cash against future L-test / theory

Left, the DVSA’s routemap through the

pandemic, with the different responses

across Great Britain

16

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


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

test / MoT fees and it will have to be

paid back over the next few years.

Donations welcomed, no doubt,

otherwise DVSA Chief Executive Loveday

Ryder is going to be looking down the

back of a lot of sofas to find the required

cash!

All joking aside, this is where we see

the first sign of ‘long Covid’ as far as the

UK’s finances are concerned. In 2019-

20 the DVSA made a surplus of £1.5m;

if it repeated that performance in

2022-23, and then again for the rest of

the decade, it would take until deep in

the 2030s to pay the £19.5m back. A

worry, I’m sure, for everyone at the DVSA

– and possibly for ADIs too, who may

wonder whether a Government minister

or Civil Service mandarin might look to

claw the money back sooner through

higher fees or reducing service standards.

But that is speculation. What is clear is

that, as expected, the pandemic drove a

coach and horses through the best laid

plans of the agency, and what we are left

with is a deeply worrying debt pile that

no-one could be blamed for.

The Annual Report lays bare again the

fall in testing activity: L-tests and theory

tests were at 33 per cent and 50 per

cent of expected numbers respectively.

Interestingly, however, the ‘VOSA’ side of

the agency did not fare as poorly in this

regard. HGV tests fell from 680,000 a

year in 2019-20 to 510,000, while

licensed vehicle operator work fell by

only 5,000. Vehicle and driver checks

fell, too, but not by as much as one

would expect, down from 172,000 to

126,000. MoT test certificates stayed

stable but one presumes that is linked to

the automatic renewal of certificates.

It all acts as a reminder of just how

bad 2020 was, for everyone.

However, the Annual Report is a Civil

Service document so there will still be

good news, despite the gloom and doom.

For instance, the agency has smashed its

target for the time driving examiners

spend actually conducting L-tests; they

are now doing that 71 per cent of the

time, against a target of 70 per cent.

Which does beg the question, with

digital marking of tests, why is the target

so low?

The report also reflects on the changes

forced on the DVSA by Covid-19. As the

report states: ‘Our office-based telephone

enquiry service was suspended in March

2020. In its place we introduced a full

home-based mobile telephony service in

May 2020.’

That bland statement hides many

logistical and HR challenges, and the

DVSA should be proud of its success in

keeping the wheels rolling last summer.

It was not a perfect solution; call

answering times lengthened, and MSA

GB knows only too well how many

members became frustrated at times in

their dealings with the DVSA. But you

cannot overlook the complexity they

faced in, basically, turning round to its

office staff and saying ‘go home, and

work from there.’ Just getting the

required IT and telephony kit into

everyone’s homes would have been a

challenge in itself, but then to keep all

staff working without regular face-to-face

contact with team leaders was another

challenge entirely.

Yet that was the challenge facing the

DVSA in April 2020, and that there was

a booking system and service of any kind

last summer was little short of a miracle.

Interestingly, the customer service

centre retained its accreditation with the

Customer Contact Association (CCA) and

its Customer Service Excellence Standard.

Continued on pg 18

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

17


DVSA Annual Report 2020-21

DVSA keeps

smiling as it

comes to terms

with impact

of Covid-19

Continued from page 17

There was also an award for the DVSA

in the Brilliant Civil Service Awards

‘Improved Outcomes’ category for setting

up a pandemic

L-test booking

system and testing

regime for learners

whose work was

deemed critical to

the Covid-19

response; nearly

13,000 took their

L-test through a

service that was,

literally, set up from scratch in a matter

of days.

For all that ADIs like to have a dig at

the DVSA, its response to the pandemic

was impressive on many levels.

It is also notable that despite the

pandemic, work continued on the Future

Theory Test Service (FTTS). FTTS

replaces the current theory test service

from autumn, bringing management of

the service in-house and creating three

theory test centre network contracts.

In addition, to make the theory test

more accessible for candidates, new

video clips have replaced some written

text within the test, with short driving

scenarios followed by multiple-choice

questions.

What else was going on? Remember

Brexit? Well, preparations for that fell

within the timeframe of this report, and it

cost the agency around £5m. This was

not ADI related; rather, the ‘VOSA’ side of

the DVSA’s remit took the cash, but it all

comes from the same pot and is possibly

another cost the agency could have done

without, given what happened to its

income at the same time.

Another big change that hasn’t been

derailed is that the DVSA is no longer a

separate agency as its Trading Fund

status was scrapped on April 1. The

report states: ‘DVSA’s trading fund status

was revoked with effect from 1 April

2021. As part of this transition DVSA

repaid its public dividend capital of

£32.5m to DfT on 31 March 2021 (our

italics for emphasis...) and on 1 April

DVSA’s remaining deferred income

balances relating to DfT grant funding

were transferred to the general fund.’

In other words, the DVSA’s finances

are now rolled into the DfT’s, which at

least offers some shelter from the storm

of Covid-19.

‘‘

Brexit preparations cost the

DVSA about £5m... possibly

another cost the agency could

have done without, given what

happened at the same time...

‘‘

But that doesn’t mean the DVSA can

ignore its debts. Here’s an ominous line:

‘It will however take some time for both

capacity and demand to return to

normal,’ presumably affecting income

levels well into the future.

And all that assumes we’ll have no

more lockdowns.

So what lies in the future? Here’s a

clue: ‘Our vision is to have an estate that

is efficient, fit for purpose and

sustainable, supporting service delivery

and flexible to changing requirements.

DVSA’s estate includes 385 driving test

centres … the future of the driving test

centre estate will be determined by the

outcome of a number of consultations

relating to future driver and rider testing

delivery models. We are learning from

our experiences of different ways of

working during COVID-19. This is

helping us shape how and where our

colleagues work in the future and we

have an ongoing project to help us to

work together better, by focusing on

18

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


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

outcomes for our customers and each

other. We are aiming to reduce our

administrative footprint significantly over

the next three years. Imminent lease

expiries and the development of

government hubs in all cities where the

agency has representation provide the

opportunity for the agency to introduce

modern, flexible working practices.’

This is classic Civil Service speak for

‘except changes to your local DTC, and

we’ll likely cut local admin centres’.

Other interesting snippets: DVSA staff

turnover has fallen, down from 8.4 per

cent a year to 6.4 per cent. The DVSA

might be proud of this but in truth, few

people left the security of a permanent

position in 2020 once Covid-19 arrived.

‘Better the devil you know’ was the

mantra – and this possibly explains the

reluctance of DVSA staffers to jump ship.

Certainly, staff don’t seem any happier.

10 per cent say they faced discrimination

in the workplace, which is a really

worrying stat, while 11 per cent have

faced bullying and harassment. What

isn’t stated is whether these incidents

involve their fellow DVSA staff or through

their interactions with the public;

certainly the 1,600 or so examiners face

‘‘

10 per cent of staff say they

have faced discrimination and

11 per cent harrassment or

bullying... if these figures are

linked to events solely within

the DVSA, that’s worrying

‘‘

challenges of this kind every day, and

that could be inflating those figures.

However, it has to be said that if the

figures are purely within DVSA, that is a

problem.

With the current huge focus on climate

change-related issues, it is no surprise

that the Annual Report devotes a lot of

attention to this subject. It’s overall

greenhouse gas emissions have been

slashed by a quarter since 2009-10 –

the year which was chosen as the

baseline for all Government departments’

sustainability figures – though Covid is

to thank for some of that. There have

been significant improvements in energy

use, waste and resources. What is

interesting is just how much flying DVSA

officials do: in 2009-2010, the agency

took an astonishing 2,742 flights. Who,

and where to? Its target was to have

reduced this to ‘only’ 2,002 in 2020-21.

No surprise this figure was annihilated:

just 64 flights were taken in 2020-21, a

fall of 97 per cent on the baseline. It will

be more interesting to see the figure this

time next year, or possibly the year after

that. Why are so many people flying?

Will the culture of Zoom meetings impact

on this figure in the future?

Finally, a stunning little stat, tucked

away in the later pages of the financial

report. ‘During the year one special

payment over £300,000 (2019-20: nil)

was made. The payment of £1,892,500

was for an agreed out of court

settlement of legal costs following a

failed prosecution led by DVSA.

‘A provision was made for this in the

2019-20 accounts but not reported

within losses and special payments as it

was uncertain how much would be

payable at that time.’

£1.9m lost on a failed court case?

What’s the story?

You’ll be delighted to know, we’re

looking into it…

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

19


Comment

Don’t ignore the facts:

retirement costs

Rod Came

MSA South East

Last month I wrote about state pensions

and the misleading manner in which

they are portrayed.

But let’s forget that for a moment and

concentrate on the future, your future,

because a source of income to replace

your working day earnings will become

more important to you as retirement

approaches, which it does at an

increasing speed as it gets closer.

Of course, you could keep working

until you drop, providing the clients keep

coming, but do you really want to? Later

years of life are to be enjoyed, the daily

grind is past, it is time to relax.

That is a fallacy, of course. If you are

lucky enough to have a house and a

garden there are innumerable tasks that

will occupy your time. All retirees say, “I

don’t know how I found time to go to

work”, and it’s true.

At the moment the average household

income is £54,000 pa which appears to

be quite a large amount of money. I

expect that many ADIs whose partner

works will have a gross income near that

figure which ensures a reasonable

standard of living.

And then retirement arrives.

All of a sudden, unless other provision

has been made, the family income could

fall to about £20,000 pa. Whoops! The

mortgage should have been paid off but

all the other household bills remain, and

more importantly, you have a lot more

time on your hands, all those house and

garden tasks soak up money like there is

no tomorrow. Lunch out with friends

becomes a regular habit in normal times,

as does getting out and about, National

Trust, English Heritage and holidays do

not come cheap. The car will have to be

paid for from your reduced income, not

set against income tax, so will your

phone. It all adds up.

Some years ago, I wrote that the best

way to make tax-free money is to buy a

house, then when you can, buy a bigger

one, again and again, until you find that

the two of you are rattling around in a

small mansion which is far too large for

your needs, then you can downsize and

pocket the financial difference.

I still stick by that premise, but right

now, certainly in the South East, the

property market has gone mad. Sheds

sell for zillions; many houses sell the day

before they go on the market and people

are offering way over the advertised price

to secure their intended purchase. Now

is not the time to sell or buy. But when

will it be? Frankly I do not know. No help

there then.

When the housing market does level

out, as it will, that might be the time to

make a move either up-sizing or down. If

you are lucky enough to own a £800K

house, you could go to a £500K

bungalow and have a tax-free profit of

about £300K.

Having gone smaller with all that

money in the bank, that in itself becomes

a problem. What to do with it? £300K

sounds a lot, but it isn’t.

With the state pension being only

£20K a top-up will be needed, probably

at least £10K pa, more as the years

pass. Interest rates are pitiful so capital

growth is negligible, it may improve but

only if prices rise, which then eats away

at capital. The same capital that has to

last 20 years or more.

I am sorry to have to paint such a

bleak picture and I know that the truth

hurts, but it must be faced up to, sooner

or later. And that is the trick – facing up

to the reality and then taking steps to

alleviate it within your means.

I am not a financial consultant so do

not take my comments as gospel, take

professional advice, use your common

sense and consider all your options.

I wish you a happy retirement. I’m

enjoying mine.

20

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


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

Mirror still biggest threat to

candidates’ L-test success

A survey by AA Driving School has

revealed the top 10 reasons for failing

the driving test this year.

As is often the case, poor observation

at junctions is the top reason for test

failure. Issues with mirrors, junctions

and responding to signals such as traffic

lights and signs have remained the top

two reasons for test failures for the past

five years. However, in 2019/20 faults

for steering, reverse parking and moving

off safely all ranked higher than this

year’s data.

The top 10 reasons for failing a

driving test in 2020/211 were:

1 Junctions (observation)

2 Mirrors (change direction)

3 Junctions (turning right)

4 Response to signals (traffic lights)

5 Control (steering)

6 Response to signals (traffic signs)

7 Response to signals (road markings)

8 Move off (safely)

9 Positioning (normal driving)

10 Move off (control)

But it’s not just learners who are a bit

intimidated by the L-test; many

experienced drivers say they would

dread taking a test today because of the

need to perform a parallel park.

Drivers were asked, if they had to

re-take the driving test, which skills or

manoeuvres they would find hardest to

demonstrate to pass.

The top five most challenging parts of

the test were:

1 Reverse park / parallel park 21%

2 Reverse around a corner 11%

3 Drive at appropriate speed 8%

4 Park in a bay 3%

5 Observation 3%

One third of women said they would

find parallel parking the hardest part of

a driving test (32%), compared to just

16% of men. However, men were more

likely to say they would find driving at

an appropriate speed more difficult

(10% men vs 5% women).

Licence changes

hint at further

moves in future

A consultation on changes to the laws

on driving licence acquisition and the

motorcycle riding test have led to a

number of recommendations.

It is proposed that in future, any

candidate who already holds a full

manual licence entitlement for a car,

lorry or bus who passes a B+E, C1,

C1+E, D1 or D1+E test, using an

automatic vehicle, will get both the

manual and automatic entitlements

for that sub-category

It has also been recommended that

the Minimum Test Vehicle

Requirement (MTV) for motorcycles

used for the A2 test be reduced from

395cc to 245cc, provided that the

other MTV requirements are still met.

The recommendations are awaiting

due legal processes but assuming this

is completed successfully, the

regulations will be amended

accordingly in the New Year.

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

21


New products

New app with MSA GB Integration launches, giving

instructors more freedom and less stress

The smart diary management

for ADIs is three times faster

than competing apps

As the driving training and testing

profession gets back into full swing, the

recent track and trace ‘pingdemic’ is

forcing ADIs to regularly reschedule their

diaries, once again introducing a lot of

uncertainty. That’s on top of the daily

challenges of maintaining their waiting

list, managing their finances and last

minute cancellations.

The team at Go Roadie, who have been

working with thousands of instructors

across the UK since 2017, partnered

with local associations to analyse these

challenges, the industry and how to solve

them. From those conversations they

have created an app that reduces daily

admin to just a few taps. Waiting lists no

longer need to be manually maintained,

pupils check into lessons from a

reminder the day before, reducing last

minute cancellations, and your year end

finances are as simple as tapping a button.

“We worked with instructors right

across Scotland and the rest of the UK to

build an app that wasn’t just better than

what’s already out there, but something

was just as convenient as a paper diary,”

Michael Carr, managing director of

GoRoadie, told Newslink. “We saw

instructors wasting time with apps and

we wanted to avoid lots of data entry

and since instructors spend most of their

time in their car, everything needs to be

available in-app.

“That means no need to turn on your

computer at 9pm to record an expense

or organise your diary.”

The team behind GoRoadie have built

products used by millions of customers,

for brands like Amazon, Sony and the

Imperial War Museums. “Our background

is in building products that are easy to

use,” said Michael. “The team have over

30 years combined building secure

digital products.”

Giving back 8 hours each month

GoRoadie Pro, available now on iOS

and Android for both phones and tablets,

allows pupils to confirm attendance of

their next lesson, so you know it’s going

ahead (like checking into a flight). It will

automatically keep in touch with pupils

on your waiting list, so you don’t have to

(letting you know who’s still keen and

available) and seamlessly syncs with

your devices calendar.

The app can optionally track your

finances and allows you to take photos of

receipts to store digitally, meaning you

can skip the accountant and save at least

£100 a year. There is also a

complimentary pupil app available too

that is simple and easy to use.

The app has been independently

compared to existing apps on the market

and found to be around three times

‘‘

This looks like the best app out

there... it looks really good and

is very straightforward... other

apps are too confusing... I’ve

always wanted a digital diary

‘‘

faster when adding pupils and lessons.

“Time is important to instructors,

especially when they have so little free

time in this post-pandemic boom,”

Michael continued. “By offering lesson

check-in and keeping waiting lists fresh

automatically, GoRoadie Pro is aiming to

give instructors around 8 hours back

each month.”

MSA GB Integration

The aim of GoRoadie is to give ADIs

more time back and help them stay

connected with the wider industry. They

chose to partner with MSA GB to be one

of their official news sources meaning

instructors will get notifications to their

phone when there is any breaking

industry news.

MSA GB national chairman Peter

Harvey is enthusiastic about the tie-in.

“Having this integration with GoRoadie

Pro means that we will be able to push

immediate news straight to the phones of

ADIs right across the country,” he said.

“This will make critical news more

accessible than ever before. It also helps

MSA GB to improve our digital footprint

and expand our services.”

Instructors first

Go Roadie has been trialling the app

with over 200 instructors, tweaking and

improving it since an early pilot in April.

Darren Millar, a driving instructor from

Achieve Driving Tuition, was one of the

first to get involved and he too was

impressed. “This looks like the best app

out there so far. It looks really good and

very straightforward. I’ve had a look at the

other apps but they are too confusing. I

always wanted to have a digital diary.”

The team has built a library of

explainer videos and tutorials to ensure

instructors have all their questions

answered, and are always on hand to

pick up the phone.

How to get involved

GoRoadie Pro is completely free to

download from the App Store and Google

Play Store and available to use with a full

free month trial. After the trial period the

app will cost just £12 per month, with

no extra costs for texts and unlimited

pupil usage.

Special offer for MSA GB members

MSA GB Members will receive a

special price of just £10 per month for

their first year using discount code

MSAGB1 on top of their free month trial.

Get Started For FREE at:

https://www.goroadie.com/pro, or see

the advert on pg 25

22

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


Comment

Facing a delivery crisis?

Perhaps ADIs can help

Rod Came

MSA South East

One thing that has always disappointed

me about the driver training industry is

the apparent lack of ambition of ADIs;

not all ADIs, but an awful lot of them.

This is not made as a criticism but as an

observation.

It seems like it is regarded as a

temporary job, a bit like being a taxi

driver, to fill in the time between

permanent employment. This is borne

out by the number of PDIs who apply to

start the qualification process when

redundancy comes their way. What

better way to spend your redundancy

money than to invest in training for a

lucrative occupation being driven around

the town by 17-year-olds!

But there are other opportunities in the

driver training field which are often

overlooked. Cars and motorcycles are not

the only vehicles that drivers/riders need

to be trained to operate correctly. A

glance at the back of a driving licence

shows that there are 21 categories of

vehicle for which a licence to use is

required. OK, I suppose there is not a lot

of call for pedestrian lawn mower

training, but there has to be for most of

the other categories.

For example, freight associations have

warned that Britain needs more truckers

to relieve a “chronic” shortage of drivers

that is hurting businesses across the

country, A suggestion of relaxing rules to

let drivers work longer hours is unlikely

to fix the problem, they have said, but is

to be introduced from July 12 to allow

for ‘slightly longer’ journeys. The recent

loss of foreign drivers has compounded

the problem, along with a lack of new

entrants to the industry due to lockdown.

Logistics UK and the Chartered

Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)

have written to the Government setting

out steps they say are needed to tackle

the 76,000-driver shortage that is

causing chaos in the supply chain.

I am now writing this in the second

week of July. Hardly a day has gone past

24

in the last couple of weeks when I have

not read stories about a shortage of

delivery drivers. A couple of months ago

it was estimated that this amounted to

53,000, but now reliable reports say the

figure exceeds 100,000 and that

supermarkets are running short of some

‘just in time’ supplies such as salad

items and fruit – can you believe that?

So where do ADIs fit into this

conundrum? Well, in the main they

don’t. ADIs are only qualified to teach in

a car or van up to 3,500kgs gross weight

– unless they have actually passed a full

driving test to drive another category of

vehicle. Some will have done this but are

probably so busy with their car learner

drivers that they cannot take on any

more training.

Commercial companies are crying out

for drivers of goods vehicles, but trainers

are in short supply due in some respect

to the test pass requirement. Some ADIs,

like myself, have passed in one category

but because of the rules cannot teach a

provisional licence holder in a similar but

different category despite holding a C1

and C1E category licence, ie, D1

minibus (4600kgs) licence holder but

cannot teach in a similar weight goods

vehicle. It begs the question, are

“One solution to the scarcity

of delivery drivers for the retail

sector is to allow ADIs to train

C1 provisional licence holders”

passengers less valuable than goods?

The odd thing is that although a

qualified instructor (ADI) holds a licence

to teach and has a driving licence

covering categories other than a car, they

cannot teach in those other categories,

but a person who holds the other

categories by having passed a driving

test in the past, but has no teaching

qualification, can ‘teach’ a provisional

licence holder in those categories.

In the current crisis, because that is

what it is when food cannot reach shops

to feed the populace and rubbish cannot

be cleared, a temporary relaxation of

accompanying driver rules could help to

relieve the pressure.

In short ADIs, who have proven

teaching skills and hold a C1 licence,

should be allowed to train C1 provisional

licence holders. This is a necessity to

help relieve a national crisis during which

we can do our bit.

It would also mean that current C1

drivers who aspire to heavy goods

licences (over 7500kgs), thus helping to

fill the enormous number of vacancies for

such drivers, would be able to do so.

Or is it that DVSA would not be able to

cope with an influx of vocational driving

licence tests?

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


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

There’s a helping hand ready

for ADIs and PDIs

The panel at Helping ADI & PDIs have

been handing out grants to ADIs and PDIs

who have experienced financial difficulties

as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fund was established by ADIs

Bobbie Hicks and Susan McDonald last

November and has since seen over

£24,000 donated by ADI groups,

businesses operating in this sector and

individual ADIs who just wanted to help

out their fellow instructors.

Instructors who have received cash

grants from the fund have been quick to

praise the fund. One said: “OMG you guys,

it’s times like this that just breaks my

defences (tears pouring down). We are

really grateful for your sympathy and

generosity, I can’t believe, at times like

this, how many good people there are.

Thank you soooo much.”

Another said: “Thank you very much.

The money will be well received and

appreciated ... thanks to all involved in the

process, and the generous donations.”

To donate or to apply for a grant, see

https://instructorfund.org/

• The fund is also paying small cash

grants to ADIs who had been asked to

isolate by the Government’s Track and

Trace system. Go to https://instructorfund.

org for details. There is no need to

complete the full financial questions on the

application, simply state ‘Track and Trace’

in the area marked ‘Purpose’, complete the

bank and personal details and send in the

application.

Emails from Track and Trace must show

the name of the applicant and the dates of

isolation.

• You can still donate to the GoFundMe

Page by following either the link to our

website https://instructorfund.org/

or via the GoFundMe page at https://

gofund.me/67c82730

London e-scooter trial

gathers momentum

London’s trial of rental e-scooters

has been expanded to include three

new locations and approximately

600 new vehicles.

The 12-month trial is designed

to help shape future policy on

e-scooters. It is being managed by

TfL and London Councils – and

operated by Dott, Lime and TIER.

Ealing, Hammersmith and

Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea

and Richmond upon Thames and

Canary Wharf were the initial

boroughs taking part, with Tower

Hamlets acting as a ‘ride-through’

area, which users may travel through

but not start or end e-scooter rides.

But now the central linchpin

borough of the City of London and

northern parts of Lambeth have

joined the scheme – while Southwark

has become the second ride-through

location.

The additional boroughs takes the

number of vehicles involved from

600 to 1,200 and they will now be

available at even more inner and

central London destinations.

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

25


Towards your CPD

Looking to advance?

Don’t forget to check

out your own driving

When you look to boost your

CPD, don’t overlook the need

to keep your own driving up

to scratch, says Steve Garrod

A fellow ADI recently rang to ask my

advice about which courses he could

study as part of his CPD. He suggested a

number of ideas, some of which would

involve dedicating significant time for

study at considerable expense.

My response, as it generally is when

asked such questions, was to ask what

interests him and what does he hope to

achieve by gaining an additional

qualification (for example, another area

of teaching or business). He said he

wanted to know more about teaching

advanced driving and asked what I

thought about teaching a qualified driver

advanced driving for his Standards

Check, and what subjects to teach. I

asked when did he last have his driving

checked and he admitted it was when he

passed his Part 2 about seven years ago.

I have heard it said that ‘it is the

obvious we forget’, but as ADIs, it is easy

to fall into the trap of looking for

something new to learn but often miss

the opportunity to improve an existing

skill.

I suggested that if he took an advanced

test, he may be in a better position to

identify some key areas for development

and some ideas for future lessons, eg,

how to read bends, plan overtakes in

good time or join and leave motorways.

Unless you are fortunate to live in an

area blessed with these types of roads,

those of us living in urban areas could

find our own driving becomes stale,

which could affect our ability to teach

certain subjects.

Many ADIs’ driving consists of

commuting to and from lessons with

little or no time to reflect on their own

performance. This is the same for many

drivers too; they generally stick to the

same types of roads and routes and

become complacent, subsequently

picking up speeding tickets or parking

fines. In addition, having regular checks

helps us understand the way our pupils

are feeling when they are learning and

preparing for their own test. Most ADIs

feel that all drivers should have their

driving regularly checked, but few take

the lead and have theirs checked.

The reason I feel we, as industry

professionals, should take an advanced

test every couple of years, is because it is

the test preparation that re-focuses our

minds as much, if not more than, the

test itself. I also think it is difficult to

identify faults in our students’

performance if they display similar faults

that we have while we are driving.

For example, when I was training to be

26

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


an examiner at Cardington many years

ago, I picked up marks for emerging too

early from side roads and driving a bit

too close to stationary vehicles

(shaving). Although neither fault was

deemed as serious, it was put down to

the fact that I was used to driving in

London and therefore felt I was leaving

sufficient room when carrying out both

manoeuvres.

I remember my instructor asking me

“What was the hurry? Was there anyone

behind the car approaching the

junction?” I recall thinking “I don’t

know!” I realised then that I had

probably been encouraging my own

learners to emerge into the types of gaps

I was emerging and probably not

noticing them ‘shaving’ other vehicles

unless they really did get too close.

In other words, we have blind spots

that we need pointing out by another

professional.

So, having taken this trip down

memory lane with my caller, he

admitted that he felt his driving could do

with a bit of tidying up and that he

wasn’t too confident driving on rural

roads.

I appreciate being a good driver

doesn’t necessarily make us better

instructors, but being aware of our own

faults means we are less likely to miss

similar faults when they displayed by

our students. Being able to give a

competent and confident demonstration

drive could be the difference between

being accepted for a fleet driver training

position, or not.

A friend of mine has just applied to

become a driving examiner and is

worried about her commentary driving,

so she has identified an area for her

development, but may find out more

once her driving is assessed.

The important thing to remember is

our driving is always on show, with or

without a student in the car. If the car is

‘‘

The reason we should take an

advanced test every couple

of years is because the test

preparation re-focuses our

minds as much, if not more,

than the test itself....

‘‘

sign written it would not look good if

certain aspects of our driving is not up

to standard. You could always claim, as

a former colleague mine used to, that it

is your day off and that you are driving

like everyone else, but I am sure that

you, like me, notice other drivers

approach bends too quickly,

subsequently braking when they should

be accelerating, or becoming boxed in

behind larger vehicles on motorways

instead of planning earlier for an

overtake.

So, my caller has agreed to have his

driving assessed with a view to taking a

test later this summer.

If you are thinking of affordable CPD it

might be worth looking at taking an

advanced test. Finding a trainer should

be straight forward but please ask them

when they last had their driving

assessed.

I’ll leave the final word this month to

a former pupil of mine. He was a trainee

pilot but hadn’t passed his driving test.

He told me the he felt safer in the air

because, “When you fly you know

everyone else in the air is a professional,

but when you drive you are surrounded

by amateurs”.

With that in mind it makes sense to

ensure we remain professional by having

our skills regularly checked and

encouraging others to do the same.

High VR pass

rates are reality

A pioneering virtual reality (VR)-based

driving instructor training course has

delivered exceptional results says BSM.

Recent results show that the pass

rate for BSM’s driving instructor

trainees is now more than 35 per cent

higher than the DVSA national average

on the Part 1 Theory, and this trend

continues on Part 2 and Part 3 exams,

with BSM trainees recording 15 per

cent higher pass rates than the national

average.

BSM’s virtual reality (VR) instructor

training course was launched in 2020

and offers safe, socially-distant learning

during the pandemic. The course

blends quality in-car training with VR

headset experience in a classroom

environment.

Mark Born, BSM’s Instructor Training

Manager said: “We are so happy with

our pass rates for trainees on the virtual

reality course.

“Our ability to support trainees with

online courses and VR when no in-car

practice could take place has boosted

what could have been a difficult period

with under-prepared trainees turning up

for tests.

“We hope this encourages more

instructors to train with us and take

advantage of our unique VR training.”

Many trainees have passed all three

qualifying tests the first time and others

have been supported in their further

attempts using the unique VR training

and online support.

Kim Gibson, former BSM VR pupil

who recently passed her Part 3 test

said: “I signed up with BSM in August,

passing my Part 2 in September and

attending a VR course in October.

“The staff were so supportive and

within a month of lockdown being

eased, I passed my Part 3 first time. I

definitely recommend the VR course to

anyone considering becoming an ADI.”

Her comments were echoed by Keith

Taylor, a BSM VR instructor training

pupil from Devon, who said he found

the Zoom training sessions “engaging

and supportive.

“The online instructors engage and

involve all participants and learning has

certainly occurred. This helped me stay

motivated and set me up for the return

to face-to-face contact and delivery of

driving lessons.”

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021 27


Special feature

Mental health

and how it can

impact on your

driving status

There is a growing understanding

that good mental health is just as

important as good physical health

– but how does your mental state

impact on driving? Guy Annan

takes a look at some of the key

points to consider

It’s important to recognise when we, or

others, may be suffering from any kind of

mental health issues.

At some stage most of us will have

experienced issues with our mental

well-being to some degree. It will come

as no surprise to many of us that the

number of people experiencing mental

health issues has increased over the

months of lockdown.

Some will be in denial about their

mental health and their capacity to drive

safely under the circumstances. These

issues can be complex and require expert

intervention. However, those who seek

medical intervention are often concerned

about the status of their licence should a

Doctor or Mental Health Practitioner

deem their condition to be a risk to

themselves and others.

As an association with responsibilities

for the safety and wellbeing of members

and those we train, we must be aware

and alert to any changes in someone’s

behaviour, attitude or physical condition.

This include our colleagues or trainees

who may not yet have recognised this in

themselves.

So, what follows is a summary of

various scenarios and suggested actions.

Overview

• Having a mental illness does not

always mean you cannot drive safely, but

some drivers need to take extra care or

may become too unwell to drive.

• If you have certain illnesses you

must tell the DVLA, which will use the

information you give them to decide if

you should keep your licence.

• They may ask you to have a medical

examination or a driving assessment.

• Sometimes they can give you a

licence that is valid for one to five years.

• Sometimes they will take your licence

away (‘revoke’ it). You can appeal.

• If your doctor says you are not fit to

drive, you can give up your licence. This

is also known as ‘surrendering’ your

licence. You can reapply for it when your

condition has improved.

• If you continue to drive when your

doctor says you shouldn’t, you could be

charged with an offence.

• If you receive some benefits you may

be entitled to a Blue Badge.

• You may be entitled to car tax

exemption.

Informing the DVLA: When do I have to

tell the DVLA about my mental health

condition?

If you have, or think you may have,

certain illnesses you must tell the DVLA.

And you must let them know if your

illness has got worse since you got your

driving licence. You must tell the DVLA if

you have any of the mental health

conditions below, and you are going to

drive: Bipolar disorder; Schizoaffective

disorder; Paranoid schizophrenia;

Psychosis; Psychotic depression; and

Schizophrenia

You must also tell the DVLA if you

have any of the mental health conditions

below and they affect your ability to drive

safely. Things that might affect your

ability to drive safely include suicidal

thoughts, poor concentration and feeling

agitated or irritable a lot of the time.

28

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


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

If you are not sure if your illness affects

your ability to drive you must speak to

your doctor if you suffer from anxiety;

eating disorders; depression; obsessive

compulsive disorder; personality disorder;

or a post-traumatic stress disorder.

Guidance can be found at: www.gov.

uk/health-conditions-and-driving

You must tell the DVLA if you have any

of these conditions when you are

applying for your first licence, or if you

are over 70 and renewing your licence.

If you already have a licence, you

should tell the DVLA right away and not

wait for the renewal date.

Who else should I talk to about my

mental illness and driving?

Your doctor

If you have been diagnosed with a

mental illness, tell your doctor to see if

they think it will cause a problem with

driving. If your doctor thinks you should

stop driving but you refuse, they have a

duty to tell the DVLA – even if you do not

agree with this.

Your insurance company

Your insurance cover could be affected

if you drive and have not told the DVLA

about your condition, or if your doctor

tells you not to drive. You should check

your policy to see what it says.

Your family and friends

You might find it useful to speak to

your friends and family about how your

illness affects your ability to drive safely.

Ask them for their help, such as to look

after your vehicle, or vehicle keys, when

you are poorly. This can help you to

avoid driving when you are unwell.

Medication and driving: Will my

medication affect my ability to drive?

Some prescription drugs are classed as

‘controlled drugs’. If you drive, and have

above a certain limit of these drugs in

your blood, you can be found guilty of an

offence. You can be found guilty even if

the drugs were not affecting your driving.

If you have been prescribed, or are

using, any of the drugs in the list below

you should speak to your doctor about

how they will affect your driving.

• Some benzodiazepines: Diazepam,

Lorazepam, Temazepam, Clonazepam,

Oxazepam and Flunitrazepam

• Some painkillers: Morphine,

Diamorphine, Tramadol and Ketamine

• Methadone

• Amphetamine

• Cannabis

• Cocaine

You can drive after taking these drugs

if:

• you’ve been prescribed them and

followed advice on how to take them by

a healthcare professional, and

• they aren’t causing you to be unfit to

drive even if you’re above the specified

limits.

Are there other medications that might

affect my driving?

It is illegal to drive when unfit because

of drugs. This includes prescription

medication. If you drive when your

medication makes this unsafe, the police

could charge you with a driving offence.

Some medications can affect your

alertness and concentration. This can

affect how you drive. You may notice this

more at the start of treatment or after

increasing the dose. If your medication

has a big effect on you, it is important to

stop driving during this time.

Different medications may affect your

driving in different ways. You should

always talk to your doctor, or pharmacist,

about how your medication might affect

your driving.

How do I tell the DVLA?

Complete a medical questionnaire at

www.gov.uk/health-conditions-anddriving

by searching for your condition.

Giving up my licence: When would I

give up my driving licence?

If your doctor has told you that you are

not fit to drive, you can by ‘surrendering’

your licence. If you do this, the DVLA

does not need to assess your fitness to

drive. In some situations, it may make it

easier for you to get your licence back in

the future if you surrender it.

If you surrender your licence, you can

reapply for it when your doctor thinks

your condition has improved. In this

case, you can drive again as soon as the

DVLA gets your application.

Download the ‘Declaration of Voluntary

Surrender’ from www.gov.uk/giving-upyour-driving-licence.

Or you can ask the

DVLA to send you a copy of this form.

What happens after I tell the DVLA?

If you give the DVLA full information,

they should decide within six weeks

whether you can continue to drive or not.

They will write to you if it is going to take

longer.

You can keep driving while DVLA are

considering your application as long as

you are safe to drive. If you have any

concerns, then you should contact your

doctor or the DVLA for further advice. If

you have any doubts about driving you

should not drive.

The DVLA can either:

• let you keep your licence or give you

a new one,

• give you a licence that is valid for 1,

2,3 or 5 years, or

• take away your licence (‘revoking’

your licence).

The DVLA will revoke your licence if

they think that you are not fit to drive at

the moment. This doesn’t mean that you

will never be able to drive again. They

will give you advice on when you can

reapply.

How does the DVLA decide if I’m unfit

to drive?

The medical standards the DVLA use

will be different depending on what type

of vehicle you want to drive. The

standards are higher for larger vehicles.

The DVLA will decide based on how your

symptoms affect your driving.

You can speak to your doctor about

how the DVLA will assess you. Or you

can look at the DVLA guidance for

medical professionals, at www.gov.uk/

government/publications/assessingfitness-to-drive-a-guide-for-medicalprofessionals#history

What happens if I don’t tell the DVLA?

If you don’t tell DVLA about a medical

condition that affects your driving, you

could be fined up to £1,000. You may

be prosecuted if you’re involved in an

accident as a result.

How can I challenge a decision?

If you disagree with your doctor

You can ask for a second opinion about

your fitness to drive. You can also have

your driving assessed in a confidential

and objective test from organisations like

Somerset Road Safety or The Advanced

Drivers Association-Somerset (ADAS).

If you disagree with the DVLA

If the DVLA says you are not fit to drive

and you don’t agree, you can challenge

this. It is best to try to resolve the issue

without going to court, but you can

appeal to your local magistrates’ court

within six months of the DVLA’s decision.

This can be expensive and time consuming,

and you may not be successful.

Citizens Advice

They give free, confidential and

independent advice on many different

issues and areas of law. You can find

your local office on their website at

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

29


Regional News

Media should be taken to task over

language it uses around motoring

John Lomas

Editor, MSA GB North West

What can be done about the way the

media reports road traffic incidents? It

isn’t just new reports that use such

phrases as ‘Fast Lane’ and ‘Right of

Way’.

I have also heard those comments

used by serving police and other

emergency service personnel.

I have recently been watching the

latest series of Close Calls on BBC TV

and there have been a number of these

bloomers used by the presenter.

One incident involved a vehicle

crossing straight over a crossroads

against the Give Way markings, which

was then T-boned by a vehicle travelling

on the road without Give Way signs. The

presenter clearly reported that the driver

had ‘Right of Way’. However, we know

that he may have had ‘priority’ but that

does not mean he did not have to watch

out for vehicles that might cross his path.

Another incident took place on an unlit

section of the M61 that’s local to me. It

involved a vehicle travelling north

approaching junction 9, which is a lane

drop junction. A vehicle was already

within the lane drop section, travelling

north to continue towards Preston, while

a vehicle some distance ahead began

braking, not a flash of brake lights, but

continuous braking. The following vehicle

slowed down and moved to the third

lane where it ploughed into a stationary

dark-coloured car positioned across that

lane.

What did the presenter say?

He said that the driver had moved into

the ‘Fast Lane’. I am sure that your

response would have been to brake until

you could find out the reason for the

other driver’s braking. I’m sure you

certainly wouldn’t have changed lanes

and continue at 65mph, which was the

reported speed of the impact.

So what can be done to encourage

correct language usage in such

programmes?

I thought of emailing the programme

but couldn’t find any such link and that

would only get the message to one

source. Suggestions please!

Masks or not

By the time you are reading this there

may have been some directions from

DVSA, or perhaps they will be

suggestions, recommendations or rules

on the wearing of masks on lessons.

Of course it is the use of different

words, which have different meanings,

which has caused so much of the

confusion over the past 18 months;

primarily because 1,000 people have

1,000 opinions on what they mean.

Hopefully I will soon be able to get a

drive with someone to check that I am

able to perform safely with what is

basically monocular vision.

Rainbow crossings

A few months ago I told you about a

new pedestrian crossing near my house

which had rainbow colours and shapes

crossing the road and overlaid on the

traditional Black and White markings.

At the time I wasn’t aware of its

meaning and postulated it was to do

with the rainbow support campaign for

the NHS.

I have since found out that there are

many such crossings around the world

installed to show solidarity with the

LGBTQ+ community.

What I have seen, doing a Google

images search, is that there are many

different designs many with the Black &

White markings totally removed.

I have to wonder if the ‘Loophole Larry’

lawyers are going to have a field day

when one of their clients is charged with

a serious driving offence taking place

within the crossing area.

I still haven’t found out what the

purple, downward facing ‘lights’ are for.

A pricey break

My attention was drawn recently to a

story in the local media reporting on a

number of people who had not selfisolated

on return from holidays abroad.

During October 2020, despite the

need to self-isolate on return from certain

countries, many were still taking holidays

abroad. It would appear that some

individuals had decided not to follow the

isolation rules.

Among the people listed as having

been fined was a driving instructor from

Blackburn.

On October 21, police received a call

from a member of the public that the

instructor had returned from a trip to

Turkey and had continued to work. They

had been seen removing the advertising

from their car. The caller also reported

they had not been wearing a face mask.

The end result was the instructor was

ordered to pay a total of £2,026,

comprising a fine of £1,760, costs of

£90 and a £176 victim surcharge.

Quite an expensive holiday and one

wonders if the ADI Registrar will be

showing an interest.

CONTACT

The

rainbow

crossing I

reported on

in the

March

issue

To comment on this article, or provide

updates, contact John at

johnstardriving@hotmail.com

30

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


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

Blood bikers are the unsung

heroes of the NHS

Guy Annan

MSA GB Western

I thought I’d use this issue to bring your

attention to the work of the Freewheelers

Emergency Voluntary Service.

I’d describe this service as one of the

unsung heroes of the NHS. It has, for the

past 30 years, supported the NHS across

Bristol, Bath, Taunton, Somerset and

Wiltshire, transporting vital items such as

organs and blood to support the health

service.

It costs about £110,000 a year to run

the Freewheelers, of which £45,000 is

spent buying and kitting out two new

motorcycles to replace those that the

charity has worn out. Most of the other

costs go on petrol, servicing and

operational costs.They do a great job

and I’ve decided to make my charity for

the coming year the Freewheelers and I

recently made a donation of £250.

The riders are all volunteers, and

include one of my driving instructors.

Grzegorz Lepszy (Greg) decided to

become a volunteer after having been a

recipient of a kidney transplant and

wanted to give something back to pay off

his debt. With his love of motorcycles

and his joy of riding, he put the two

together.

It’s no formality to ride for the service.

Greg, who was already an advanced

driver, had to become an advanced rider

and to attain a minimum of a Silver

grade to be accepted. He attained this

through Devon and Somerset Advanced

Riders (DSAR). Greg then applied to

Freewheelers and went through a

rigorous interviewing process before

having to attend meetings to learn about

the handling of hazardous materials and

hygiene and safety. A nine-month

probationary period then followed.

Riding or taking part with Freewheelers

is totally voluntary and reliant upon

public donations. Some families or

charities have bought complete bikes,

others have donated what they could to

such a good cause.

All the bikes have names and behind

the name is the story of someone who

benefited or perhaps, sadly, died but who

relied on the selfless volunteer who gave

their time riding all hours of the night

and day in all weathers. They are on call

out of hours, including weekends and

bank holidays.

The bike themselves are workhorses,

covering an average of 18,000 miles a

year and include the BMW RT1200

Police spec, Hondas, Yamaha FJR1300,

BMW F800.There are 20 bikes in total,

all equipped with cameras recording all

the time.If the weather is too bad for a

motorcycle then the volunteer can

choose to use their own car and they

would display a notice to say they were a

blood biker on call.In an emergency they

are allowed to use blue lights when

authorised by the co-ordinator, however

they are not exempt from certain rules of

the road just like the other emergency

services. They’re careful about using blue

lights on the motorway, which can be

pointless when you have other vehicles

overtaking you, and they’re also always

aware that the blue lights can encourage

someone in front to do something silly.

There are three types of jobs that they

get issued with: non-urgent deliveries,

urgent and emergency. The latter would

include taking extra blood to the scene of

an incident if the ambulance or air

ambulance has exhausted its supply.

They carry an extraordinary

responsibility and can be delivering

anything from the more mundane, such

as patient records, samples for testing

and surgical tools through to the more

dramatic, such as vital organs for

transplant, spinal fluid and bone marrow.

As you can imagine some of their

deliveries are highly time sensitive,

making the difference between life and

death.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance,

which is based at Henstridge on the

border between the two counties,

receives a fresh supply of blood twice a

day from Freewheelers.

Well done to all who provide a

worthwhile service either behind the

scenes or on the front line.

Guy presents his donation

to Freewheelers. ‘I’ve

decided to make

Freewheelers my charity for

the coming year... they do

a brilliant job and rely

entirely on volunteers and

public donations’

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates, contact Guy at g.annan@

alphadrivingtaunton.com

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

31


Regional News

Hot days pose a striking risk to drivers

Mike Yeomans

MSA GB North East

The good weather effects so many

aspects of the daily drive.

During last month’s fantastic weather,

how did you cope? Great with airconditioning,

not so great with windows

open to meet the recent Covid-19

guidance. With the heat and the new

weather warnings of ‘extreme heat’ from

the Met Office, it made me start to

observe other drivers and their

passengers while on my driving lessons.

First, the number of driving instructors

without masks since July 19 has

surprised me, despite the guidance given

by the DVSA. In addition, the number of

students driving without masks even

though their ADI trainer was wearing a

mask, also surprised me. (Maybe it was

because of the heat?) It will be telling if

more ADIs must self-isolate as a result,

but it’s still a free country and perhaps

its not my place to judge.

Where I travel on my assessments,

mock tests and lessons I pass through a

number of small villages where many

visitors enjoy picnics. I have noticed an

increase in animals travelling in cars (not

driving them, of course!) but dogs with

their heads out of the passenger

windows, plus at some of the shops

seeing dogs left in vehicles which, even

with windows open, is not good in this

heat. I wondered if this was a result of

post-lockdown, where owners are more

inclined to take their dogs with them

rather than leave them at home.

I own a small dog and with the current

heat I have been mindful to only take the

dog for a walk early or later in the day

when the pavements are cooler, as they

can blister paws during the heat of the

day.

32

One thing leads to another, and the

sight of the dogs with their heads out of

a window led to a question: is it against

the law to put my dog in the car without

a restraint? My research showed that it is

legal to take your pet in the car with you,

so long as you properly restrain them.

You shouldn’t let them sit in the front

seats or, interestingly, let them stick their

head out of the window. Rule 57 of the

Highway Code states: “When in a

vehicle make sure dogs or other animals

are suitably restrained so they cannot

distract you while you are driving or

injure you, or themselves if you stop

quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier,

dog cage or dog guard are ways of

restraining animals in cars.”

It’s not a legal requirement set out in

legislation and there’s no direct penalty

for breaking the Highway Code. However,

you could still be pulled over for ‘driving

without due care and attention’, which

as you know comes with three to nine

points on your licence. It could also be

used as evidence against you if you were

to be involved in a traffic incident.

It could be a serious issue. According

to the Go Compare insurance site, if your

pet is found to have caused or

contributed to an accident, your car

Great news: We’ve got a face-to-face meeting!

MSA GB North East has some exciting news: our first face-to-face meeting since

Covid-19 arose in March 2020.

We will be at the Gomersal Park Hotel, Gomersal BD19 4LJ, on Thursday,

September 9, starting at 6.45pm until 9.15pm. We have a superb speaker from

the DVSA in John Sheridan, supported we hope by a local DVSA representative as

well as road safety expert Graham Feest.

It’s just £5 to join us; you can pay on the night but we’d appreciate it if you could

let us know beforehand if you’re coming so we can arrange the room safely and

supply refreshments. Book in advance via info@msagb.com or ring 01625

664501 to secure a place.

Is it illegal

for a dog to

ride with its

head out of

the window?

insurance could be invalid, as well as

any pet insurance. You could also face a

fine of up to £5,000 if you’re taken to

court, as well as points on your licence.

So, from hot days to observing my

fellow road users on hot days, there are

some lessons to remember. Many road

incidents have been caused by

dehydrated drivers, especially on long

journeys or after spending more time in a

vehicle, which we are all experiencing at

the moment helping to get more drivers

ready to take the road and driving tests.

Driving in a stuffy car on a hot summer’s

day can cause you to lose significant

amounts of water. Being dehydrated

affects your concentration levels and

co-ordination.

The impact of dehydration of driving

can be alarming:

• Loss of focus.

• Feeling drowsy.

• Dry mouth.

• Feeling dizzy or light-headed.

• Slower reaction times.

• Muscle cramps.

This message should be put across at

the beginning of a lesson.

When motorists were put through a

series of tests on a driving simulator by

scientists at Loughborough University to

assess the effects of mild dehydration on

reaction time and performance, the

results were startling. They made twice

as many driving errors when dehydrated

as they did while hydrated. Concentration

and alertness were significantly reduced,

causing errors such as drifting out of lane

and braking too early or too late.

I have been offering small bottles of

water to my students before and after

each lesson, most are now bringing their

own bottles to a lesson.

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


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

Race to secure a test slot is making

forward planning impossible

Terry Pearce

MSA GB West Midlands

I have been planning for some time to

retire in November 2022. This is when

my current ADI badge runs out and also

when my driving school car contract

ends. It also gives me time to get my

grandniece and grandnephew through

their driving tests.

I had a logical timetable planned to

ensure that they would pass before I

retire, along with any other pupils I have,

but that has now turned on its head.

Before you get to the five months’ wait

for a driving test there is a significant

wait to get a theory test, so if they fail

either of them it could take a

considerable time to pass.

The result is that we now have a mad

panic going on to find cancellation slots.

I cannot say that I like the idea of

companies making money out of a

learner’s desperation to get a driving test

cancellation, but if candidates do not

have the time to constantly check

themselves, it obviously works. If you

Google ‘driving test cancellations’ it is

surprising how many companies are

offering the service.

The main problem is that you have to

get an initial test booking before you can

even think about looking for a

cancellation. I was told that one national

school advises their pupils to book a test

at any centre that has vacancies, no

matter where in the country it is, as the

test centre can be changed if a suitable

cancellation is found. The point is once

you’ve got a test slot, you are in the

system. This means that there are lots of

test slots booked that will never be used

by the initial owner and they will only

come back on to the market when they

are changed for a more suitable

cancellation.

It reminds me of when the theory test

first started. Candidates started to book a

driving test date to beat the start of the

theory test, which in turn increased the

waiting time.

Realising the waiting time was

growing, more tests were booked until, if

my memory serves me correctly, we had

a five-month waiting list.

As I write this, we are now booking

driving tests into the start of 2022.

Madness!

CONTACT

To comment on this article, or provide

updates from your area, contact

Terry at terry@terrypearce.co.uk

Worrying ADI

car-jack is a

reminder to

stay alert to

other dangers

The picture (right) may not look too

dramatic, but the wall that you can see

outside the house was demolished as a

result of a collision involving a driving

school car, writes Terry Pearce.

This wasn’t a ‘normal’ traffic incident,

however: rather, the car had been

hijacked by a group of men armed with a

knife. According to local newspaper

Coventry News, the driving instructor

was giving a lesson to a learner when

they were threatened with a knife and

told to hand over the car.

Both instructor and learner received

minor injuries after the incident.

Before this incident a spokesman for

West Midlands Police had told the media

that they were “investigating a series of

incidents around the Wood End area of

Coventry at 4.30pm, June 28.”

A 13-year-old suffered a fractured

shoulder and wrist and remains in hospital

after being attacked by a group of men.

The men fled in a stolen black Ford Fiesta

and crashed, colliding with a 16-year-old

boy on the pavement. The boy sustained

minor injuries. The men then left the

scene in a different car that they carjacked

at the location, a silver Ford Fiesta, which

was the driving school car.

It is believed there were between four to

six male suspects, all described as black

and wearing dark clothing with hoods up

and Covid masks covering their faces.

Luckily, car-jacking incidents such as this

are rare, but it is a reminder to be vigilant

and keep our cars secure. I am not sure if

all car manufacturers offer automatic door

locking when you drive away but it is

certainly one safety feature I always use.

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

33


Motoring

Ford delivers

clean, green

options that

lead the way

Ford is developing a range of new

vehicles as it looks to deliver 16

electrified vehicles by the end of 2021.

Ideal for ADIs is the Focus Mild

Hybrid, which delivers a rewarding blend

of precise handling, remarkable fuel

economy power and efficiency.

And now, to help reduce emissions

while improving power and efficiency

even further, it’s available with an

advanced EcoBoost Hybrid powertrain.

The EcoBoost Hybrid boosts power,

maximises efficiency and minimises

emissions, while a sculpted exterior

creates an athletic shape that cuts

through the air with ease, improving

efficiency even further.

It’s technology that’s so effortless and

useful, you’ll wonder how you ever did

without it.

The Focus EcoBoost Hybrid uses an

electric motor with a 48-volt battery to

support its petrol engine. Instead of

driving solely on electric power, the

electric motor provides torque assistance

to the engine, delivering extra power

equivalent to 16 PS, up to 20 per cent

better acceleration.

It also uses regenerative braking

technology, which charges the mild

hybrid’s battery by capturing energy

that’s usually lost when you slow down.

This helps increase your fuel economy

and reduce emissions.

Available on Puma and Fiesta 1.0-litre

EcoBoost Hybrid, the seven-speed

automatic can make driving less

demanding – particularly in city driving

and stop-start traffic. In addition, fast,

seamless gearchanges complement the

hybrid powertrain’s electrically-boosted

performance to further enhance the fun

to drive experience.

Puma EcoBoost Hybrid and Fiesta

EcoBoost Hybrid seven-speed automatic

models are anticipated to improve CO 2

emissions by up to more than 5 per cent

compared with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost

petrol equivalents (WLTP).

Ford’s EcoBoost Hybrid technology

uses a belt-driven integrated starter/

generator (BISG) to recover energy

Ford’s latest all-electric car, the

Mustang Mach-E, has set a new

Guinness World Record after

demonstrating its ultra-efficiency on a

run from John O’Groats and Land’s

End.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E travelled

over 6.5 miles per kilowatt hour (kWh)

of electrical energy. With 88kWh of

available battery capacity, that means

the Mustang had a range of well over

500 miles of range, adding more than

120 miles to Mustang Mach-E’s official

usually lost during braking and coasting

and charge a 48‐volt lithium-ion battery

pack. The BISG also acts as a motor,

integrating with the engine to provide

torque assistance that can enhance fuel

efficiency or performance, depending on

the driving scenario.

An on-board trip computer shows you

the essential facts like mileage, fuel

consumption, speed and the outside air

temperature. It also includes ‘distance to

empty’: roughly how far you can go on

the fuel left in the tank. This is

particularly useful on long journeys, or if

you know you’re driving somewhere

remote.

With the FordPass app on your

smartphone, you can receive health

alerts for specific parts of your vehicle

too. Like if a tyre is getting low, or your

oil needs changing.

Conventional power

For those not looking to switch to

electric motoring just yet, the

development of the 1.0 litre Ford

EcoBoost 3-cylinder petrol engine gives

you all the power you’d expect from a

much larger engine. Ford EcoBoost

379-mile range – and trebling the

miles per kWh target set by Guinness

World Records for this new electric

vehicle record.

The record-breaking performance on

Britain’s most lengthy journey

necessitated stopping for under 45

minutes of charging.

Leaving John O’Groats on full

charge, the 840 miles to Land’s End

required only two main charging stops

at Wigan, Lancashire, and Cullompton,

Devon.

technology delivers performance that’s

smooth, responsive and rewarding. To be

even more efficient, the engine features

cylinder deactivation. This shuts off a

cylinder when torque demand is low,

such as on a motorway. When torque

demand increases, the cylinder springs

back to life to give you the power you

need.

A new standard for diesel engines

Finally, for those ADIs looking to stay

with diesel engines, Ford has improved

its 1.5 and 2.0-litre Ford EcoBlue diesel

power units.

The latest versions are highly

advanced, turbo-charged engines that

deliver measurably improved efficiency,

performance and refinement. These new

engines can improve fuel efficiency, are

more responsive and are also quieter

than ever before.

They’ll also be available with AdBlue®

, a urea/water-based fluid that converts

NOx emissions in the exhaust gas into

nitrogen and water.

A particulate filter then reduces more

than 99 per cent of emitted solid

particulates from the vehicle’s exhaust.

34

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


Q & A... with Karyn Cunningham

I’m always looking to learn... and I learnt

that pigeons sometimes refuse to budge!

Dog-loving Marvel fan Karyn

Cunningham, a BSM Solo

instructor, is the latest ADI to

come under the Newslink

Q & A spotlight...

When did you become an ADI, and

what made you enter the profession?

I qualified in 2019. My sister also

trained and qualified as an ADI with the

AA. I saw how she was able to fit work

around her family commitments. I had

worked in an office for 30 years and

wanted that same freedom.

What’s the best bit about the job?

I love the work life balance to be there

for my family and my two dogs. I have a

BSM solo franchise. This means I lease

the car, still have the full back office

support but I run my business, ‘TK Pass’,

to suit me.

And the worst?

Sometimes the unrealistic expectations

of learners and their families, particularly

post-COVID. Demand for lessons is very

high at the moment. But to provide the

same high standard of service to

everyone means learning to say no!

What’s the best piece of training advice

you were ever given?

During my training with BSM I received

lots of useful tips and advice. One phrase

in particular stuck with me, and I use

regularly with my learners, especially

when they are struggling with something,

is “practice makes permanent.”

What one piece of kit, other than your

car and phone, could you not do without?

The USB cable to charge my phone!

What needs fixing most urgently in

driving generally?

Other drivers’ attitudes towards

learners. Some of the aggressive

behaviour my learners have to witness

can be very intimidating. These drivers

need to understand their actions have

consequences.

What should the DVSA focus on?

At the moment their hands are full

trying to reduce waiting times for

practical tests, but more focus needs to

be on challenging third party companies

who are taking valuable slots and then

charging a much higher rate to learners

who are not test standard or may not

even have an instructor.

What’s the next big thing that’s going to

transform driver training/testing?

The increasing market in electric/hybrid

cars and the potential change to

automatic transmissions and the loss of

gears.

The technology in vehicles is ever

evolving and at the very least will need

reflecting in revised Show me/ Tell me

questions in future L-tests.

Electric cars – yes or no? And why?

Karyn with Max and Spencer...

with no pigeons in sight

Yes, because regardless of preference,

they are going to be here if the

government pushes forward with its

plans to ban petrol and diesel motors.

How can we improve driver testing/

training in one move?

By making it a requirement that all

learners have a minimum number of

hours with a qualified instructor prior to

taking their test. This would potentially

increase the pass rate, reduce wasted

test slots and increase availability for test

standard drivers.

Who/what inspires you, drives you on?

My family. Everything I do is to benefit

my daughter. My partner has 100%

confidence in me. That support has

always been unwavering and has helped

36

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021


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

‘‘

The next big thing? The

increasing market in electric/

hybrid cars and potential

change to auto transmissions

and the loss of gears...

‘‘

me believe in myself and what I can achieve.

What keeps you awake at night?

Usually, not a lot! Like many others, I

had sleepless nights during the uncertainty

of the pandemic. But I never once regretted

making that initial contact with BSM to

change career.

No one is the finished article. What do

you do to keep on top of the game?

I’m a bit of a nerd. I actually love

learning! I’m very lucky because I still have

links with BSM through my solo franchise,

and that means I can utilise the training

forums they provide and I receive regular

updates about changes in law or best

practice. I talk a lot to my peers in the

driving instructor community; there’s a

wealth of knowledge and experience out

there that is always going to be invaluable.

What’s the daftest /most dangerous thing

that’s ever happened to you while

teaching?

While teaching a parallel park I asked

my learner to pull up on the left. I asked

him to stop where a pigeon happened to

be standing on the roadside. As we got

closer the pigeon didn’t fly off as expected,

instead it ruffled its feathers and started

marching (yes, marching) towards the car.

My learner hesitated but kept creeping

forwards waiting for it to fly away… but it

didn’t! In the end it was my learner that

blinked first and stopped the car, too

scared he was going to squash it.

The pigeon won the game of chicken and

I never let my learner forget it!

When or where are you happiest?

I’m always happy when I can disappear

into the countryside with my two Jack

Russells, Max and Spencer, for a long

ramble, whatever the weather.

If you had to pick one book/film/album

that inspires, entertains or moves you,

what would it be?

Any Marvel movie; pure escapism that I

can enjoy with my family.

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021

Tragedy drives ADIs to raise cash to

help underprivileged youngsters

A group of ADIs have used the tragic

death of a close friend to inspire them

to raise money to help underprivileged

teenagers through their

driving test.

The McLaughlin Driving

Scholarship was set up in Oct 2020

in memory of ADI George

McLaughlin, who died sadly in May

2020. It was initially launched with a

view to putting George’s grandson

Jack through his test, which was his

plan before retiring. However, as

donations poured in from local ADIs,

friends, MSA GB and George’s family,

we realised we could help more

underprivileged youths who perhaps

weren’t in the financial position to

pay for driving lessons, or who had

had to deal with misfortune in their

young lives to learn the important life

Western AGM and training day

skill of driving.

As part of our fundraising we held a

sponsored walk in June of this year

which raised an amazing £1,800.

After getting the East Kilbride Boys’

Brigade involved in the walk, as well

as ADIs and friends, we raised

enough money to fund a learning to

drive scholarship for one of the BB

boys who had gone through a

traumatic few years. He was thrilled

with the chance to learn to drive.

So far we have raised over £3,500

and are happy to report we are now

looking for a third candidate for a

scholarship.

If you like what you have read and

are able to donate the cost of a lesson

to support our efforts, you can do so

by emailing Susan Miller at sm-cs@

hotmail.com

MSA GB Western: Members please note that we hope to run our traditional

area conference and AGM this year as an in-person event, rather than by

Zoom.

The committee hopes we can all get together on Monday, 8th November

2021, at Oake Manor Golf Club, near Taunton.

Obviously, any plans will be dependent on Covid-19 rules at the time, but

the hope at this stage is for an all-day event, with keynote speakers, Q&A

and chances for networking and discussing the key issues with your fellow

instructors.

More details on speakers and how to book will be available shortly.

We will contact all local members direct, or keep an eye on the MSAGB

Western area Facebook page.

37


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 GB’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 GB 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 GB OFFER:: Enjoy a 20% saving on our

Advanced Driver Course for 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 GB 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 GB OFFER:: Special discount

of 20% on all car air fresheners and refills.

CARD PAYMENTS

MSA GB 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 GB 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 GB Members.

MSA GB 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 GB 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 GB 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

38 NEWSLINK n AUGUST 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 GB 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 GB 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 GB 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 GB 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 GB 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: No joining fee,

saving you £15 – all for just £70!

SPECIAL OFFER

Join MSA GB today!

No joining fee, saving £15

Call 0800 0265986 quoting

discount code Newslink, or join

online at www.msagb.com

To get the full story of

the discounts available,

see www.msagb.com

£70

Just

for 12 months membership

NEWSLINK n AUGUST 2021 39

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines