Newslink December 2021

Magazine for Motor Schools Association of Great Britain, road safety, driving training and testing

Magazine for Motor Schools Association of Great Britain, road safety, driving training and testing


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msagb.com<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong><br />

The Voice of MSA GB<br />

Issue 347 • <strong>December</strong> <strong>2021</strong><br />

Here we go again:<br />

Masks are back for<br />

ADIs and pupils<br />

E-scooters:<br />

Fit for<br />

the road?<br />

A vital contribution<br />

to greening<br />

urban mobility...<br />

or a dangerous<br />

plaything?<br />

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

02 NEWSLINK n MAY <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

A year of changes: let’s hope<br />

2022 runs more smoothly!<br />

Colin Lilly<br />

Editor, <strong>Newslink</strong><br />

Well, here we are at the end of the first<br />

full calendar year of the Covid pandemic.<br />

There have certainly been some changes.<br />

Early in the pandemic during the early<br />

lockdowns I wrote that the grey skies<br />

would turn to blue. As far as the<br />

unprecedented levels of business are<br />

concerned, this is true. Many instructors<br />

are working at full capacity and unable to<br />

satisfy the demand. Finally, lesson prices<br />

are approaching the level they should<br />

have been at for many years.<br />

Unfortunately, there have been some<br />

dark clouds to mask some of the blue.<br />

There is the black cloud with DVLA<br />

written on it. The situation through the<br />

year has led to many new drivers waiting<br />

three months or more for a provisional<br />

licence. Those with health concerns have<br />

been left waiting even longer.<br />

As the industry emerged from<br />

lockdown it was not a smooth run, with<br />

the lack of waiting rooms until<br />

arrangements could be made.<br />

Adjustments have been made to driver<br />

training and the test to take account of<br />

the Covid restrictions. These have been<br />

understandable but none the less not as<br />

comfortable as before Covid.<br />

Brexit and the pandemic have taken<br />

their toll on the transport industry,<br />

leading to changes in LGV training and<br />

testing. Once again, the DVLA has had a<br />

hand in this. As part of the response the<br />

DVSA called an end to the B+E test.<br />

But just to show its officials had not<br />

been idle during lockdown, it also<br />

introduced changes to the Standards<br />

Check process.<br />

Let us hope that during 2022 the<br />

clouds will disperse completely and leave<br />

us with the blue sky.<br />

Over the festive period we can blow<br />

some of these clouds away for a while.<br />

Take a good break, you deserve it.<br />

Everyone involved with the association<br />

and the production of <strong>Newslink</strong> wishes<br />

you a very happy Christmas and New<br />

Year. Hopefully, next year will see the<br />

clouds thin and give us the opportunity to<br />

meet up at the national training day and<br />

AGM in March.<br />

Continue to take care.<br />


To comment on this article or any other<br />

issue surrounding driver training and<br />

testing, contact Colin via editor@msagb.com<br />

Welcome to your<br />

digital, interactive<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong><br />

See a pale blue box in any article<br />

or on an advert? It it contains a<br />

web address or email, it’s<br />

interactive. Just click and it will<br />

take you to the appropriate web<br />

page or email so you can find<br />

more details easier.<br />

You’ll also find these panels across<br />

the magazine: just click for more<br />

information on any given subject.<br />

To get the<br />

full story,<br />

click here<br />

How to access this<br />

magazine<br />

You can read <strong>Newslink</strong> in three<br />

ways:<br />

Go online and read the interactive<br />

magazine on the Yumpu website;<br />

or, if you would like to read it<br />

when you don’t have a mobile<br />

signal or WiFi, you can download<br />

the magazine to your tablet, PC or<br />

phone to read at your leisure.<br />

Alternatively, a pdf can be found<br />

on the MSA GB website,<br />

at www.msagb.com<br />

Season’s greetings, and thank you<br />

Peter Harvey MBE<br />

National Chairman<br />

MSA GB<br />

Here we are, another year almost over<br />

and we are all looking forward to a better<br />

festive period than last year. Let’s hope<br />

that’s so.<br />

I would like to wish all our members,<br />

colleagues and supporters a very happy<br />

Christmas in whatever way you celebrate<br />

the festive season.<br />

I would also like to thank you all for<br />

your continued support over this difficult<br />

year for everyone, and hope we can all<br />

get back to whatever the new normal will<br />

be very soon.<br />

A special word of thanks to all our<br />

team at head office for all their work<br />

throughout the year.<br />

On that note I need to advise you that<br />

the MSA GB office will close for<br />

Christmas on Friday, 24th <strong>December</strong> at<br />

lunchtime and reopen on Tuesday, 4th<br />

January at 9am.<br />

Again, Merry Christmas, and as our<br />

next issue of <strong>Newslink</strong> will in the first<br />

days of 2022, a Happy New Year.<br />

Follow the<br />

link MSA<br />

GB sends<br />

you to<br />

access<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong>,<br />

and then<br />

just click<br />

Download<br />

to save a<br />

copy on<br />

your device<br />


Scourge or saviour: what’s<br />

your view on e-scooters?<br />

Colin Lilly looks at the rules<br />

of the road... pg 16<br />

If you want to contribute to the January issue of <strong>Newslink</strong>, send your<br />

article to Colin Lilly at editor@msagb.com by 21st <strong>December</strong>.<br />

Plus: they’re back!<br />

Guidance on mask-wearing<br />

changes as Covid virus<br />

cases rise – see pg 6<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


16<br />

12<br />

Transport<br />

of the<br />

future...<br />

or road<br />

menace?<br />

News<br />

Masks back in England<br />

Concern over Omicron variant of<br />

Covid-19 lead to U-turn on mask<br />

wearing during driving lessons – Pg 6<br />

Delay, but B+E axe will still fall<br />

A parliamentary cock-up gives B+E tests<br />

a technical reprieve, but they will still be<br />

history by Christmas – Pg 8<br />

Charity vehicle theft shock<br />

Sick thieves have targeted a dedicated<br />

charity helping disabled drivers – Pg 12<br />

14<br />

More chaos at the DVLA<br />

A growing backlog of licence applications<br />

has led to renewed criticism of the<br />

public’s least favourite public sector<br />

body, the DVLA – Pg 14<br />

20<br />

E-scooters: road rules needed<br />

The soaring popularity of e-scooters has<br />

left the government scrambling around<br />

for a way of controlling their use on the<br />

roads – but there’s little sign of success<br />

so far – Pg 16<br />

AI tech to help ADIs<br />

Are you using outdated tech in your job?<br />

WeDrive Instructor is the next-generation<br />

all-in-one toolkit helping today’s busy<br />

instructor work smarter, not harder...<br />

– Pg 20<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong><br />

The Voice of MSA GB<br />

The Motor Schools Association<br />

of Great Britain Ltd<br />

Head Office:<br />

Chester House,<br />

68 Chestergate,<br />

Macclesfield<br />

Cheshire SK11 6DY<br />

T: 01625 664501<br />

E: info@msagb.com<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong> is published monthly on behalf of the MSA<br />

GB and distributed to members and selected<br />

recently qualified ADIs throughout Great Britain by:<br />

Chamber Media Services,<br />

4 Hilton Road, Bramhall, Stockport,<br />

Cheshire SK7 3AG<br />

Editorial/Production: Rob Beswick<br />

e: rob@chambermediaservices.co.uk<br />

t: 0161 426 7957<br />

Advertising sales: Colin Regan<br />

e: colinregan001@yahoo.co.uk<br />

t: 01942 537959 / 07871 444922<br />

Views expressed in <strong>Newslink</strong> are not necessarily<br />

those of the MSA GB or the publishers.<br />

Although every effort is<br />

made to ensure the<br />

accuracy of material<br />

contained within this<br />

publication, neither MSA<br />

GB nor the publishers can<br />

accept any responsibility<br />

for the veracity of claims<br />

made by contributors in<br />

either advertising or<br />

editorial content.<br />

©<strong>2021</strong> The Motor Schools<br />

Association of Great<br />

Britain Ltd. Reprinting in<br />

whole or part is forbidden<br />

without express<br />

permission of the editor.<br />

04 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Area News/Views<br />

Sharing my space<br />

by Janet Stewart, MSA GB Greater London – pg 33<br />

Western report<br />

by Arthur Mynott, MSA GB Western – pg 35<br />

Poor standards of other ADIs<br />

Russell Jones, MSA GB East Midlands – pg 36<br />

Shedding some light on DRLs<br />

by Brian Thomson, MSA GB Scotland – pg 38<br />

Plus news and views from the<br />

South East, North West, North<br />

East and the West Midlands<br />

Features<br />

18 years of hard graft...<br />

... destroyed by a political whim. One ADI’s<br />

devastating story of the impact scrapping B+E<br />

testing has had on his business – Pg 22<br />

The fabled driving licence ...<br />

A look back at that most quaint of historic<br />

artefacts, the driving licence, circa <strong>2021</strong> – Pg 25<br />

The story of safety rails<br />

Concrete or steel? Wire or solid? The barriers that<br />

stop cars leaving the roads are surprising<br />

controversial – Pg 30<br />

Keep in<br />

touch 1<br />

If you have updated your<br />

address, telephone<br />

numbers or changed your email<br />

address recently, please let us<br />

know at head office by emailing<br />

us with your new details and<br />

membership number to<br />

info@msagb.com.<br />

If you can’t find your<br />

membership number, give us a<br />

ring on 01625 664501.<br />

Keep in touch:<br />

Just click on the icon<br />

to go through to the<br />

relevant site<br />

2<br />

Follow MSA GB on social media<br />

28<br />

MSA Conference 2022<br />

First details of next year’s event<br />

22<br />

Q&A with...Steven Porter<br />

MSA GB Scotland’s new<br />

Chairman on his love of Rangers,<br />

rock band Queen – and practice<br />

– pg 42<br />

Keep in<br />

contact with<br />

the MSA<br />

MSA GB area contacts are<br />

here to answer your<br />

queries and offer any<br />

assistance you need.<br />

Get in touch if you have<br />

any opinions on how MSA<br />

GB is run, or wish to<br />

comment on any issue<br />

affecting the driver<br />

training and testing<br />

regime.<br />

n National Chairman:<br />

Peter Harvey MBE<br />

natchair@msagb.com<br />

n Deputy National<br />

Chairman: Geoff Little<br />

n Scotland:<br />

Alex Buist<br />

chair.os@msagb.com<br />

n North East:<br />

Mike Yeomans<br />

chair.ne@msagb.com<br />

n North West:<br />

Graham Clayton<br />

chair.nw@msagb.com<br />

n East Midlands:<br />

Kate Fennelly<br />

chair.em@msagb.com<br />

n West Midlands:<br />

Geoff Little<br />

info@msagb.com<br />

n Western:<br />

Arthur Mynott<br />

chair.ow@msagb.com<br />

n Eastern:<br />

Paul Harmes<br />

chair.oe@msagb.com<br />

n Greater London:<br />

Tom Kwok<br />

chair.gl@msagb.com<br />

n South East:<br />

Fenella Wheeler<br />

chair.se@msagb.com<br />

n South Wales:<br />

All enquiries to<br />

info@msagb.com<br />

n <strong>Newslink</strong>:<br />

All enquiries to<br />

editor@msagb.com or<br />

rob@chambermedia<br />

services.co.uk<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


News<br />

The mask... is back!<br />

Face coverings mandatory on driving lessons In England<br />

from 30th November; situation as before in Scotland, Wales<br />

Peter Harvey MBE<br />

National Chairman<br />

MSA GB<br />

As members will be only too aware,<br />

increasing government concern over the<br />

Omicron Covid-19 variant, and rising<br />

virus infection rates in general, has<br />

prompted a change in the official rules on<br />

the wearing of facemasks in England.<br />

Among those areas affected by this are<br />

professional driving lessons of all kinds,<br />

for both pupil and ADI.<br />

The rule change came in at 4am on<br />

Tuesday, November 30; from that point<br />

onwards face coverings must be worn<br />

in “any car, van or HGV, during a<br />

professional driving lesson, a formal<br />

driving test, or during one of the practical<br />

tests for giving driving instruction.”<br />

It should be noted that this guidance<br />

affects England only, as the rule in<br />

Scotland and Wales has been to continue<br />

wearing facemasks during lessons since<br />

general restrictions were eased in the<br />

summer.<br />

The legal requirement to wear a face<br />

covering in certain places will be reviewed<br />

in three weeks’ time.<br />

NASP considers personal responsibility<br />

will mean refreshed risk assessments for<br />

ourselves on an individual basis and<br />

similarly for each individual client, bearing<br />

in mind the official rules.<br />

NASP recommends that:<br />

• You wear a face covering to protect<br />

you and others on all lessons unless a<br />

valid exemption is provided.<br />

• You continue to sanitise the car as we<br />

have been doing during Covid and to<br />

continue to use hand sanitiser.<br />

• NASP recommends that you take<br />

regular lateral flow tests and ask your<br />

clients to do the same before coming out<br />

for a driving lesson.<br />

Official government advice states:<br />

It is also important to wear face<br />

coverings:<br />

• indoors, in any situation which is<br />

crowded, or where people are close<br />

together<br />

• if asked to by any “competent<br />

authority”<br />

• if someone else was uncomfortable,<br />

as a “common courtesy”<br />

Why is continuing to wear a face<br />

covering been made compulsory in our<br />

industry:<br />

• Evidence suggests transmission is<br />

mostly happening in indoor spaces where<br />

people are in close proximity.<br />

• Face coverings worn over the nose<br />

and mouth reduce the spread of<br />

coronavirus droplets from coughs, sneezes<br />

and speaking.<br />

• The main purpose is to protect others<br />

from Covid, rather than yourself. If<br />

everyone wears one, the risks drop for all.<br />

• Masks can also help reduce virus<br />

spread from people who may be<br />

contagious but have no symptoms.<br />

• Cutting virus transmission is<br />

important because many people are still<br />

not yet fully vaccinated.<br />

The latest advice and guidance on Covid-19<br />

regulations can be found at<br />

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus<br />

For ADI specific guidance, see the<br />

DVSA website, at<br />

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/<br />

driver-and-vehicle-standards-agency<br />

06<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

News<br />

Delay, but B+E test axe still going to fall<br />

The DVSA has confirmed that the<br />

proposed date for formally ending B+E<br />

testing has been delayed slightly.<br />

As reported in last month’s <strong>Newslink</strong>,<br />

the legislation required to end the tests<br />

was due to go before the House of<br />

Commons on November 15. However, it<br />

was pulled for administrative reasons.<br />

New legislation was re-laid in<br />

Parliament on November 23 to restart<br />

the process for this change. Once these<br />

changes have been approved by both<br />

Houses of Parliament, the DfT will<br />

confirm the date the licensing law will be<br />

introduced. Until the law has been<br />

changed you and your pupils must<br />

continue to follow the current rules.<br />

What this means for car drivers towing<br />

a trailer<br />

DVSA stopped doing car and trailer<br />

tests on September 20.<br />

Until the law changes, car drivers who<br />

gained their licence after January 1<br />

1997 and don’t hold a full car and trailer<br />

licence will only be able to tow a trailer<br />

weighing up to 3,500kg if they:<br />

• display L plates<br />

• are supervised by a driver aged over<br />

21 who has had a car and trailer licence<br />

entitlement for three years or more<br />

Drivers can be fined up to £1,000, be<br />

banned from driving and get up to six<br />

penalty points on their driving licence if<br />

they drive a vehicle that’s not on their<br />

driving licence.<br />

When the law changes come into force<br />

DVLA will update driving licence records<br />

to reflect the changes.<br />

The BE category will be added when a<br />

new photocard driving licence is issued.<br />

Drivers do not need to contact DVLA for<br />

this to happen. It will be done automatically.<br />

Tow safely<br />

The DVSA is encouraging those drivers<br />

looking to tow a trailer or caravan for the<br />

first time to undertake a voluntary<br />

accreditation scheme which is being<br />

developed with help from the trailer<br />

industry and training providers.<br />

It is hoped that this scheme will be<br />

launched early next year and will focus<br />

on a core module for all drivers, with<br />

sector specific modules for different<br />

towing activities.<br />

Find out more about how the scheme<br />

in the DVSA’s latest blog post from Mark<br />

Winn – Chief Driving Examiner (below)<br />

B+E tests: the impact - see pg 22<br />

We’re backing a trailer safety scheme<br />

by Mark Winn<br />

Chief Driving<br />

Examiner<br />

Over the last few<br />

months, we’ve been<br />

preparing for changes<br />

to car and trailer<br />

testing and we’re<br />

planning to launch a<br />

voluntary trailer safety<br />

accreditation scheme which will<br />

encourage drivers to get training to help<br />

them tow safely and enjoy their towing<br />

activity.<br />

We’re working with towing and training<br />

groups to look at how to set the scheme<br />

up and what it should focus on.<br />

In November, alongside colleagues, I<br />

led workshops with representatives the<br />

towing and trailer industry.<br />

I’m pleased to say the conversations<br />

were positive and engaging – including on<br />

what the accreditation scheme could<br />

achieve and how it should be delivered. I<br />

wanted to share with you how this<br />

proposed scheme was developing.<br />

I know the car and trailer test changes<br />

have been the subject of much debate<br />

recently, which is why we feel it’s really<br />

important to engage with towing and<br />

training groups on the accreditation<br />

scheme. We want motorists to see the<br />

accreditation scheme as the right way to<br />

find out how to tow a trailer safely, and<br />

with confidence.<br />

At the workshops we asked for<br />

feedback on three areas:<br />

• Setting the standard of the training<br />

• The government appointed<br />

accrediting body or bodies<br />

• The accredited training providers<br />

For the first topic, on setting the<br />

standards of the training, there was a<br />

consensus for a modular approach. This<br />

would mean providing a basic towing<br />

module with additional modules for specific<br />

sectors, for example livestock or plant.<br />

A number of the groups felt that the<br />

driver testing syllabus would be a good<br />

starting point for the standard. In other<br />

areas, such as the duration of the training,<br />

there was a broader range of views.<br />

Discussions about the accrediting body<br />

or bodies focused on having more than<br />

one organisation and including a standard<br />

for assessors.<br />

Some organisations were also interested<br />

in getting more of an understanding about<br />

the procurement process DVSA would<br />

need to go through to appoint an<br />

accrediting body or bodies.<br />

On training providers, some of the<br />

groups said existing trainers should be<br />

able to join and build up their skills,<br />

rather than having a new structure for all.<br />

They felt that once the scheme had been<br />

established, an assessment of new<br />

providers could be introduced.<br />

There was also a discussion about<br />

having a level playing field and whether<br />

trainers with good standards/skills could<br />

be promoted.<br />

Taking this forward<br />

What happens next? We will run a<br />

follow-up webinar for vocational trainers,<br />

on the latest developments and get their<br />

thoughts on the accreditation scheme too.<br />

We’ll send invitations out for these<br />

webinars once they have been arranged.<br />

We’re also going to:<br />

• Develop the car and trailer towing<br />

standard<br />

• Develop a working version of the<br />

syllabus<br />

• Carry on the work needed to appoint<br />

an accrediting body or bodies<br />

We’ll continue to work with the trailer<br />

and training industry to share our progress<br />

and get feedback.<br />

If you have any comments on<br />

this, you can post them on<br />

the original blog by clicking here.<br />

08<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Two parts to new Driver CPC test<br />

The DVSA has announced a reform of<br />

the Driver CPC regime, with the Part 3<br />

test split into two.<br />

Up to November 28 drivers took a<br />

single Driver CPC part 3 test (driving<br />

ability) test (unless they’ve already<br />

passed the off-road exercises test with<br />

their training school)<br />

However, from November 29, two<br />

separate tests – Driver CPC part 3a<br />

(off-road exercises) and part 3b (on-road<br />

driving) will be conducted.<br />

Prices for the Driver CPC part 3a test:<br />

off-road exercises will be up to £40 for<br />

tests taken with an approved training<br />

organisation (this does not include the<br />

cost of any training or vehicle hire), or<br />

£40 for tests taken with DVSA<br />

The Driver CPC part 3b test (on-road<br />

driving) will cost £115 for tests taken on<br />

weekdays, or £141 for tests at the<br />

weekend or on a bank holiday.<br />

The DVSA has been challenged over<br />

the fees charged. It replied: “We have to<br />

recover the costs of the services we<br />

provide through the fees we charge.<br />

“The current test fee does not cover all<br />

of our costs. So we’re keeping the part<br />

3b test fee the same as the current part<br />

3 test fee. This will help cover the extra<br />

costs of approving and auditing trainers<br />

who provide part 3a tests.<br />

“Because people taking the part 3b<br />

test will have already passed the part 3a<br />

test, they will be in a better position to<br />

pass first time and avoid the potential<br />

cost of a retake.<br />

“Also, people who now take a test<br />

towing a trailer with a large vehicle no<br />

longer need to have passed a test in a<br />

rigid vehicle first. This saves them £115<br />

by not having to take 2 tests.<br />

“However, we will keep the current<br />

fees under review.’<br />

Splitting HGV and bus driving tests<br />

into two parts to create 500 more tests a<br />

week is part of the government’s 32<br />

actions to tackle the current HGV driver<br />

shortage.<br />

• Find out more about this HERE:<br />

Find Your Nearest<br />

to include CPC<br />

The DVSA has launched an extension of<br />

its learner driver Find Your Nearest ADI<br />

service, to cover Driver CPC trainers.<br />

It allows members of the public to<br />

locate their nearest approved Driver CPC<br />

part 3a test provider for the off-road<br />

exercise part of the vocational driving<br />

test.<br />

The new GOV.UK service lists all<br />

current approved assessors across Great<br />

Britain who can carry out the off-road<br />

exercises and have agreed to be on the<br />

directory. It also includes their premise<br />

address and contact details, and any<br />

accessibility information relating to their<br />

premises.<br />

All the public needs to do is provide<br />

their postcode to find their nearest<br />

provider.<br />

As reported on above, all Driver CPC 3<br />

tests have been split into two parts from<br />

Monday, November 29 - part 3a tests<br />

(off-road exercises), and part 3b tests<br />

(on-road). Drivers must have passed a<br />

part 3a test before they can take their 3b<br />

test.<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


News<br />

More changes to test centres<br />

The DVSA has announced changes to the<br />

following test centres for both theory and<br />

practical testing.<br />


Region C (East Midlands and South East)<br />

King’s Lynn<br />

The new centre will be based at<br />

Ground Floor, 26 High Street, King’s<br />

Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 1BP.<br />

Corby<br />

The new centre will be based at Unit<br />

2, Oakley Vale District Centre, Butland<br />

Road, Corby, NN18 8QT<br />


Goodmayes DTC<br />

Goodmayes driving test centre will be<br />

closed for refurbishment from Monday,<br />

January 17, 2022 until Friday, February<br />

11, 2022.<br />

All practical car driving tests, ADI tests<br />

and standards checks will still go ahead<br />

as planned, but instead these will take<br />

place at:<br />

Parkside Community Association, 176<br />

Goodmayes Lane, Ilford, Essex IG3 9PP<br />

Testing will recommence from the<br />

Goodmayes test centre on Monday,<br />

February 14, 2022.<br />

Baillieston DTC<br />

Baillieston driving test centre will be<br />

Germans get tough<br />

on law breakers<br />

Enforcement fines for speeding and<br />

other traffic offences have been<br />

substantially increased in Germany<br />

following legal changes agreed in early<br />

October.<br />

Anyone caught driving 16 to 20<br />

kilometres per hour (km/h) too fast in<br />

an urban area will see the fine doubled<br />

from 35 to 70 euros. For those that<br />

are caught at 91 km/h instead of the<br />

permitted 50 km/h, the fine will be<br />

400 instead of 200 euros.<br />

Drivers who do not form an<br />

emergency corridor or use one to get<br />

ahead of traffic will face a fine of<br />

between 200 and 320 euros and a<br />

month’s driving ban.<br />

Lorry drivers who violate the<br />

recently introduced obligation to drive<br />

at walking pace when turning right in<br />

urban areas will face a 70 euro<br />

penalty.<br />

10<br />

closed for refurbishment from Monday,<br />

March 21 until Friday, April 15, 2022.<br />

All practical car driving tests, ADI tests<br />

and standards checks will still go ahead<br />

as planned, but will take place at the<br />

following address:<br />

The Barrbridge, 2 Barrbidge Road,<br />

Bargeddie, Glasgow G69 7TZ<br />

Testing will recommence from the<br />

Baillieston test centre on Monday, April 18,<br />

2022.<br />

What you have to do<br />

• Where driving tests centres are<br />

temporarily out of action, all affected<br />

candidates have been informed, and<br />

reminders will be sent out to them a<br />

week before the test.<br />

ADIs who book tests on behalf of their<br />

pupils will need to tell them of the<br />

change of address.<br />

• ADIs up in arms over plans to close<br />

centre: See Area News, pg 39<br />

Waving goodbye ... to your UK licence<br />

The DfT has issued a reminder to all UK<br />

driving licence holders that if you move<br />

to an EU country or Iceland,<br />

Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland,<br />

you will not be able to renew your driving<br />

licence in the UK.<br />

It is advised that you exchange your<br />

UK driving licence for a local licence as<br />

soon as possible in line with specific<br />

advice for your country of residence.<br />

Be aware that if your UK licence is<br />

lost, stolen or expired, you will not be<br />

able to exchange it for a local licence in<br />

the country where you are living.<br />

You will have to apply for a local<br />

licence and may have to retake your<br />

driving test. Check with the licensing<br />

authority in your country of residence if<br />

your licence is lost, stolen or expired.<br />

Click here for the full rules in<br />

each nation if you are<br />

planning to move abroad<br />

Spain ahead of the game on alcohol interlocks<br />

Spain is considering making it<br />

compulsory for all lorries and buses to<br />

have alcohol interlocks fitted from 2022.<br />

The European Union agreed in 2019 that<br />

all new cars, vans, lorries and buses<br />

should have a standardised interface for<br />

connectng an alcohol interlock from next<br />

year – but not the interlock itself, which<br />

would be retro-fitted from 2024.<br />

The Spanish proposal goes substantially<br />

further by requiring lorries and buses to<br />

be fitted with the devices now.<br />

Alcohol interlocks require the driver to<br />

blow into a device that prevents a vehicle<br />

being started if he or she is over a pre-set<br />

limit.<br />

France already requires alcohol<br />

interlocks on all coaches and buses.<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

EU looks to mandate zero alcohol<br />

and drug limits for young drivers<br />

The European Transport Safety Council<br />

has called on the EU to improve the<br />

safety of young drivers, as new data<br />

shows those aged 15 to 30 represent a<br />

quarter of all road deaths.<br />

An ETSC report found that, in 2019,<br />

5,182 young people were killed in road<br />

collisions in the 25 EU countries for which<br />

figures are available. That’s a fifth of<br />

deaths from all causes in that age group.<br />

Around 40 per cent of all road deaths<br />

in the EU involve one or more young<br />

drivers or powered two-wheeler riders.<br />

Those overall numbers mask a huge<br />

gender disparity. The report says that<br />

men represent 81 per cent of all road<br />

deaths among young people aged 15-30.<br />

Large differences between male and<br />

female road mortality remain even after<br />

taking into consideration the fact that<br />

men drive more than women.<br />

The authors say that, while young<br />

people are a high-risk group in<br />

themselves, most young people do not<br />

deliberately drive unsafely. The risks<br />

associated with young drivers and riders<br />

stem from inexperience, immaturity and<br />

lifestyle linked to their age and gender.<br />

Data shows that the younger a person<br />

starts unrestricted solo driving, the more<br />

likely it is that he or she will have a fatal<br />

collision, particularly if under 18.<br />

Graduated driving licence systems<br />

have been assessed by a number of<br />

studies that show a reduction in<br />

collisions. Such systems put additional<br />

restrictions on younger drivers during the<br />

first years of driving, allowing them to<br />

gain experience while reducing certain<br />

high risk situations.<br />

Young people, especially men, are also<br />

over-represented when it comes to road<br />

deaths linked to drink-driving and drugs.<br />

Enforcing and tightening legal Blood<br />

Alcohol Concentration limits and<br />

improved help for those living with<br />

identified alcohol and other drug issues<br />

can therefore help prevent these deaths.<br />

ETSC is calling for a drink-driving limit<br />

set effectively at zero and a Europeanwide<br />

zero-tolerance limit for illicit<br />

psychoactive drugs.<br />

See https://www.etsc.eu/PinFlash41<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


News<br />

Staff left shattered as fleet of disabled driver<br />

assessment cars stolen by thieves<br />

A charity-funded assessment centre that<br />

helps disabled drivers get back behind<br />

the wheel has been hit by a particularly<br />

cruel car theft.<br />

Staff from Wessex DriveAbility in<br />

Southampton were shocked to arrive at<br />

work last month to find that their entire<br />

fleet of specialist modified vehicles had<br />

been stolen.<br />

Wessex Driveability Centre is part of<br />

the Driving Mobility network of<br />

assessment centres, and the theft left<br />

them unable to help disabled drivers<br />

regain their independence.<br />

The Southampton location in Kent<br />

Road is Wessex DriveAbility’s main<br />

assessment centre. The organisation<br />

has outreach locations in Basingstoke,<br />

Salisbury, Ferndown, and the Isle of<br />

Wright. Its team of ADIs, occupational<br />

therapists and administrators provide<br />

fitness-to-drive driving assessments for<br />

elderly and disabled people who selfrefer<br />

or are signposted from the DVLA,<br />

Motability, NHS and police.<br />

This charity-funded team ensure<br />

drivers are safe to continue driving and<br />

provide clinical recommendations<br />

regarding adapted driving controls and<br />

wheelchair accessible vehicles.<br />

All that was shattered, however, on<br />

Monday, November 8 when thieves<br />

broke into the centre by smashing-in the<br />

fire doors, by-passing alarms and<br />

opening safes to access the keys to five<br />

assessment vehicles. The stolen cars are<br />

the entire fleet of specialist vehicles used<br />

for assessment drives and all feature a<br />

number of conspicuous adaptions such<br />

as rooftop wheelchair boxes.<br />

The organisation already has a long<br />

backlog of assessments because of the<br />

pandemic, and this latest setback will<br />

mean even more drivers will not be able<br />

to regain their motoring independence for<br />

some time.<br />

Members of the<br />

Wessex DriveAbility<br />

team outside their<br />

Southampton<br />

headquarters before<br />

the theft of their<br />

adapted car fleet<br />

Rachel Odell, Wessex DriveAbility<br />

Centre manager, said: “Discovering<br />

our fleet of cars had been taken was an<br />

awful shock to all of us. We are so<br />

confused with how and why these<br />

modified cars would be stolen as they<br />

are specially designed and modified for<br />

drivers with restricted mobility.<br />

“We are a non-profit charity which is<br />

part of a larger national charity<br />

called Driving Mobility and are really<br />

worried we might not be able to replace<br />

certain custom-made controls we had<br />

fitted in vehicles.<br />

“Now we have no specialist vehicles<br />

for assessing, drivers desperate to regain<br />

their freedom will potentially have to wait<br />

a considerate length of time before we<br />

can see them. This couldn’t have come<br />

at a worse possible time with the huge<br />

demand on our service right now.<br />

“My team and I are absolutely appalled<br />

by the selfish nature of this act which<br />

will impact so many disabled people and<br />

their families”<br />

Laura Holley, driving assessor and ADI,<br />

concludes: “We might be wrong but<br />

it appears that the criminals were<br />

scoping our property for some time as<br />

they knew exactly where to access keys<br />

and at the right time. Plus, they must<br />

have had some knowledge of adapted<br />

driving as our cars were fitted with<br />

modified steering controls, such as<br />

push-pull hand levers for acceleration<br />

and braking – these did not seem to<br />

hinder them when they drove them<br />

away,” she added.<br />

“Our cars were unique and specialist<br />

so not easy to sell on. We hope the<br />

offenders are apprehended<br />

quickly for this awful crime. In the<br />

meantime, we are now 100 per cent<br />

focused on limiting the impact on our<br />

services as much as possible and<br />

replacing our fleet as best we can. When<br />

you are so passionate about helping<br />

disabled people, it is heart-breaking for<br />

something like this to happen. As we are<br />

a charity, funds and time are always<br />

limited so this is a massive blow. If<br />

anybody can help us in anyway, we’d be<br />

so grateful.”<br />

The centre staff have been left<br />

questioning why criminals would take<br />

such specialist, niche vehicles. No staff<br />

were on site or injured during the breakin.<br />

Oddly, the centre’s standard vehicles<br />

were left untouched, which adds further<br />

confusion to the motive of this crime.<br />

Smart phone zombies are menace to motorists<br />

Nearly a third of Brits have confessed to<br />

being glued to their phone when crossing<br />

the road, rising to 80 per cent of 18- to<br />

24-year-olds, a study has revealed.<br />

The survey by Fiat of 2,000 UK drivers<br />

and smartphone users found drivers had<br />

to take evasive action such as sounding<br />

their horn (24 per cent), braking heavily<br />

(23 per cent) and even swerving around<br />

(16 per cent) pedestrians who had<br />

walked blindly across the road while on<br />

their phones.<br />

Perhaps unsurprisingly, distracted<br />

phone user incidents were higher in the<br />

capital than the rest of the nation. More<br />

than a third of Londoners had to beep at<br />

a pedestrian (36 per cent) and brake<br />

heavily (37 per cent) to avoid hitting<br />

someone on their phone.<br />

In addition, 28 per cent had to swerve<br />

a distracted pedestrian and alarmingly<br />

24% of drivers had hit a pedestrian on<br />

their phone, although these pedestrians<br />

avoided any serious injury.<br />

12<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

News<br />

DVLA problems swept under the carpet<br />

as government denies there’s a problem<br />

Colin Lilly<br />

Editor, MSA GB <strong>Newslink</strong><br />

In the August and October issues of<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong> I wrote about the DVLA’s role in<br />

delays resulting from the Covid-19<br />

pandemic. The agency has been hit by a<br />

string of complaints this year, with<br />

criticism over huge backlogs in licence<br />

applications and enquiries, while the staff<br />

took industrial action over the way the<br />

agency’s management had handled their<br />

concerns during the Covid pandemic.<br />

As a result of the complaints, the<br />

Transport Select Committee summoned<br />

representatives from the PCS union,<br />

Baroness Vere, Minister for Roads, Buses<br />

and Places, Department for Transport,<br />

and Julie Lennard, Chief Executive DVLA,<br />

to appear before MPs to answer a number<br />

of questions.<br />

During this session the PCS<br />

representative commented that “I have<br />

never encountered, in 21 years, the level<br />

of incompetence and mismanagement<br />

that is on display at DVLA in Swansea.”<br />

That wasn’t the only criticism either. A<br />

petition to the Government was raised<br />

about the DVLA’s performance.<br />

The Government has now responded to<br />

the petition “Inquiry into the DVLA’s<br />

performance during the Covid-19<br />

pandemic”<br />

This is a revised response. The Petitions<br />

Committee requested a response which<br />

more directly addressed the request of the<br />

petition. The original response was<br />

published in the October issue of<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong>.<br />

The Government response is as follows:<br />

“There are no plans to hold an inquiry<br />

into DVLA’s performance which has been<br />

fully scrutinised this year in two<br />

Transport Select Committee sessions.<br />

Ministers are also provided with regular<br />

updates.<br />

“The DVLA has an incredibly strong<br />

track record of outstanding public<br />

service (our emphasis!) and has quickly<br />

adapted to continue to provide essential<br />

public services during the pandemic.<br />

Last year, the DVLA issued 8.8m driving<br />

licences, 16.3m vehicle registration<br />

certificates and made more than<br />

500,000 medical licensing decisions.<br />

The DVLA’s contact centre answered<br />

more than seven million queries<br />

including 4.8 million calls, 1.5 million<br />

webchats and more than 950,000<br />

emails.<br />

“More than 90 per cent of customer<br />

interactions with the DVLA are carried<br />

out online and these online services have<br />

continued to work as normal throughout<br />

the pandemic. Motorists who transact<br />

online usually receive their documents<br />

within a few days. Motorists are strongly<br />

encouraged to use the DVLA’s online<br />

services whenever possible as this<br />

remains the easiest and quickest way to<br />

access most of the DVLA’s services.<br />

However, not everyone wants or is able to<br />

use online services and the DVLA<br />

receives around 60,000 items of mail<br />

every day which must be opened<br />

manually by DVLA staff working on site.<br />

Unfortunately, delays have been caused<br />

in processing paper applications due to<br />

the DVLA having had fewer staff on site<br />

to ensure social distancing in line with<br />

Welsh Government requirements,<br />

industrial action by the Public and<br />

Commercial Services (PCS) union and a<br />

significantly increased demand for its<br />

services.<br />

“The DVLA has helped to keep drivers<br />

on the road throughout the pandemic by<br />

issuing one-year licences to lorry and bus<br />

drivers aged 45 and over without them<br />

having to submit the usual medical<br />

report if the driver has been unable to<br />

get an appointment with their doctor to<br />

conduct a medical examination.<br />

“Also, all driving licences expiring<br />

between 1 February and 31 <strong>December</strong><br />

were automatically renewed for 11<br />

months. The DVLA has also launched ten<br />

new online services to make things<br />

easier for customers, including online<br />

tachograph applications and change of<br />

address and duplicate V5C (logbook)<br />

services.<br />

“From 6 April to 31 August the PCS<br />

union held a series of strikes at the<br />

DVLA. The cumulative impact of<br />

industrial action and having had fewer<br />

staff on site to ensure social distancing<br />

in line with Welsh Government<br />

requirements has meant that the time<br />

taken to process paper applications has<br />

increased. PCS specifically targeted the<br />

driver’s medical section for a month-long<br />

strike in August.<br />

14<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

“The driver’s medical area has also<br />

been affected by the massive pressure<br />

the pandemic has placed on the NHS. It<br />

is a legal requirement for drivers to notify<br />

the DVLA of the onset or worsening of<br />

any health condition that may affect<br />

their fitness to drive. Following a<br />

notification, the DVLA must assess a<br />

driver’s fitness to drive which can often<br />

involve seeking further information from<br />

a GP or other health professional<br />

involved in the driver’s care. Guidance<br />

from the British Medical Association at<br />

the start of the pandemic advised GP<br />

practices to deprioritise non-essential<br />

work. This has only very recently been<br />

updated to say previously deprioritised<br />

work may need to be reviewed, including<br />

DVLA medical checks which help<br />

maintain people’s wellbeing and<br />

livelihoods.<br />

“The DVLA has put in place a range of<br />

mitigating measures to reduce the<br />

backlog of paper transactions, including<br />

the introduction of additional online<br />

services at pace in response to the<br />

pandemic, which has helped to reduce<br />

the number of postal applications<br />

received and processed manually by<br />

DVLA staff. DVLA staff are working<br />

‘‘<br />

During June there were<br />

1,423,026 unanswered calls<br />

from 224,364 customers. I<br />

imagine these people will not<br />

be happy with the decision<br />

not to hold an enquiry.<br />

‘‘<br />

evenings and at weekends and additional<br />

staff have been recruited to tackle the<br />

backlogs. The DVLA is also securing<br />

additional office space to provide surge<br />

capacity for medical applications, as well<br />

as to provide resilience and business<br />

continuity going forward.”<br />

I am not sure that this response will<br />

satisfy those members of the public<br />

waiting for their licences. Many have had<br />

to put aspects of their life on hold;<br />

delaying starts to new jobs and missing<br />

the start of their driving lessons. Delays of<br />

up to six months are being reported.<br />

The delays themselves are generating<br />

further delay. The DVLA advises<br />

applicants to contact them if they have<br />

not received their licence within TEN<br />

weeks of making their application. When<br />

you do call, they frequently go<br />

unanswered.<br />

During July and August, the average<br />

wait for a response to a telephone call<br />

was 9.9 minutes. A message at the start<br />

of the call said there could be a<br />

30-minute wait for a response. Naturally,<br />

many people end their call without a<br />

response and try later. Customers were<br />

making an average of six calls before<br />

receiving a response.<br />

During June there were 1,423,026<br />

unanswered calls from 224,364<br />

customers. I would imagine these people<br />

will not be happy with the decision not to<br />

hold an enquiry.<br />

Much of the blame has been placed on<br />

the PCS strikes. While this has not been a<br />

good PR exercise by the union, during the<br />

first week of the industrial action only<br />

750 out of a staff of over 6,000 actually<br />

walked out. The strike was taken for<br />

better conditions during the Covid<br />

environment. Perhaps attention should be<br />

placed on the reasons for the action.<br />

There would appear to be no solution in<br />

the short-term.<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


News Feature: E-scooters<br />

The worrying rise and<br />

rise of the e-scooter<br />

Colin Lilly<br />

Editor, MSA GB <strong>Newslink</strong><br />

With much of the future transport policy<br />

focused on reducing the effect of vehicles<br />

on the climate, so the role of ‘micromobility’<br />

in transport is coming under<br />

greater scrutiny. Micro-mobility comes in<br />

various forms, and is best summed up as<br />

the use of e-bikes, e-scooters and<br />

e-skateboards etc,<br />

Public opinion seems to be moving<br />

against the use of these vehicles, largely<br />

because of concerns around the lack of<br />

firm regulation on their use. The<br />

Department for Transport has<br />

commissioned studies on their use but it<br />

is unlikely to introduce legislation until<br />

the spring of 2022. So between now and<br />

then, what are the rules covering their<br />

use?<br />

E-scooters are classified as<br />

Mechanically Propelled Vehicles (MPVs)<br />

or Personal Low Emission Vehicles<br />

(PLEVs) and as such, current legislation<br />

says they cannot be used in a public<br />

place. However, a Government Trial<br />

Scheme is being conducted on the use of<br />

rental e-scooters in some local authority<br />

areas, and any vehicles taking part in the<br />

trials have been granted some<br />

exemptions under the law.<br />

E-bikes or Electrically Assisted Bikes<br />

are allowed in public places and are<br />

legal, subject to also having pedals to<br />

propel it. Motor power is within specified<br />

limits, any power assistance cuts out at<br />

15.5 mph and the rider must be at least<br />

14.<br />

Despite being illegal to use on the<br />

roads or in public, there is no legislation<br />

on the purchase of e-scooters and they<br />

are currently available in a range of<br />

shops, from cycle dealers to discount<br />

stores and, of course, on-line. They can<br />

be used on private land, hence their sale,<br />

though how many buyers have access to<br />

the amount of private land you would<br />

need to make a purchase value for<br />

money is a moot point.<br />

What is certain, however, is that their<br />

popularity has increased quite sharply<br />

this year and has led to many e-scooters<br />

being ridden illegally and randomly.<br />

16<br />

Current position on e-scooters<br />

To be used legally, e-scooter riders<br />

must comply with certain regulations,<br />

including motor vehicle regulations, but<br />

dispensations have been granted to the<br />

scooters used in official trials. As stated,<br />

privately owned scooters cannot be used<br />

on the public highway as it cannot meet<br />

the regulations of a motor vehicle.<br />

Because of the dispensations, trial<br />

e-scooters can be used on the public<br />

roads and cycle lanes but not on the<br />

pavement. Private scooters cannot be<br />

used in any public place such as roads,<br />

cycle lanes, pavements, pedestrianised<br />

areas, parks and bridle ways.<br />

Trial scooters are exempt from vehicle<br />

registration as they cannot gain type<br />

approval; similarly, they do not have to<br />

pay vehicle excise duty. Vehicle<br />

registration is necessary for legal use.<br />

The vehicle must be insured. Currently,<br />

insurers will cover scooters used in the<br />

trial schemes but not others as they are<br />

PACTS’ view<br />

The Parliamentary<br />

Advisory Council for<br />

Transport Safety has<br />

published an<br />

interesting report on<br />

the safety of private<br />

e-scooters, which can<br />

be read by clicking<br />

HERE<br />

not registered.<br />

The trial scooters are owned by the<br />

operator and they must check that the<br />

riders meet the necessary requirements.<br />

Scooters involved in the trial are<br />

limited to 15.5mph and are geofenced to<br />

prevent them being used outside the trial<br />

area or in no-go areas or lower speed<br />

limit areas. They must have a dual<br />

braking system, lighting front and rear,<br />

and an audible warning device.<br />

Rider requirements<br />

The rider must hold a driving licence<br />

for Category Q. This comes automatically<br />

with the A, AM and B categories. A<br />

requirement of category Q vehicles is<br />

that they do not exceed 15.5 mph.<br />

Rider training and helmet wearing is<br />

recommended. Currently there is very<br />

little training available.<br />

Responsible riding is encouraged; trial<br />

riders are reminded of meeting the<br />

requirements of the Road Traffic Act.<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Among the possible offences for private<br />

users is use of the vehicle without<br />

insurance which can carry a fixed<br />

penalty fine of £300, six penalty points<br />

and seizure of the scooter.<br />

Police action<br />

Private scooter riders are not routinely<br />

monitored for compliance. We see many<br />

examples of underage riders, riding that<br />

can be considered dangerous or<br />

inconsiderate, and two persons on the<br />

vehicle designed for single person use.<br />

The police say scooter use is not high<br />

on their priorities but they will act in<br />

cases of dangerous or inconsiderate use.<br />

Crime records published by Avon and<br />

Somerset Police showed that of 237<br />

incidents involving e-scooters in Bristol;<br />

only nine were related to the Government<br />

approved trial in the area. In September,<br />

a rider renting an e-scooter through the<br />

trial scheme in Bristol was banned from<br />

driving for 17 months for drink-riding. He<br />

had been pulled over after overtaking<br />

traffic on approach to a pedestrian<br />

crossing and passing a red light. They<br />

were also carrying a pillion passenger.<br />

Crash statistics<br />

The crash statistics involving<br />

e-scooters has only recently been<br />

collected by DfT. The latest figures<br />

available are for 2020; during that year<br />

one rider was killed, 105 seriously<br />

injured and 278 slightly injured.<br />

Among the others involved in crashes<br />

with e-scooters were pedestrians;13<br />

were seriously injured. In addition seven<br />

cyclists were seriously injured and two<br />

motorcyclists, after incidents involving<br />

e-scooters. However, it should be noted<br />

that the crash statistics were rising<br />

steadily towards the end of the year and<br />

bearing in mind that e-scooter use has<br />

grown this year, the statistics are likely to<br />

grow further.<br />

Trial operators<br />

A number of trials are being conducted<br />

around the country by approved<br />

operators. One of the largest is Voi which<br />

currently operates across 11 countries.<br />

Within the UK it has 17 locations and<br />

has 60 per cent of the market share.<br />

Bristol is one of most popular cities in<br />

Europe for those taking part in the trial.<br />

Voi reports that over two million rides<br />

have been taken in Bristol since the trial<br />

was launched in October 2020, covering<br />

over 3.7 million miles. It’s claimed that<br />

this replaces an estimated 790,000<br />

short car journeys and has reduced<br />

carbon emissions by 400 tonnes.<br />

The charges involved are typically £1<br />

to unlock the scooter and 20p per<br />

minute thereafter.<br />

The future<br />

You can judge the popularity of<br />

e-scooters and the benefits to the<br />

environment through the reduction they<br />

bring in carbon emissions. Along with<br />

this, there is a chance they will reduce<br />

the number of journeys taken by cars,<br />

thus reducing congestion in already<br />

over-crowded cities.<br />

However, road safety is an essential<br />

consideration. Continuing in an almost<br />

unregulated way with this important<br />

development of personal transport will<br />

only lead to a culture of almost feral<br />

behaviour.<br />

With Christmas approaching we can<br />

imagine an e-scooter will be on many<br />

children’s ‘Santa List.’ Whether they will<br />

be on next year’s naughty or nice list<br />

remains to be seen.<br />


What should we do with e-scooters?<br />

Contact Colin via editor@msagb.com<br />

with your views<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


News<br />

Sorry, but the taxman cometh...<br />

Most ADIs will have received a friendlysounding<br />

email from HMRC in recent<br />

weeks, reminding them of the need to<br />

fill in their self-assessment and pay any<br />

tax by January 31, 2022.<br />

It’s a familiar task we’ve all done many<br />

times before, but it’s been made more<br />

challenging this year because of the<br />

pandemic and the various income<br />

support schemes and bounceback loans<br />

that have helped keep ADIs’ heads afloat<br />

during what was a very difficult period<br />

when they were forced to stop working.<br />

It can be difficult to remember the<br />

timeline of the past 18 months, such has<br />

been the disruption to our lives, but the<br />

vast majority of tuition ceased in March<br />

2020, recommencing in August only to<br />

stop again in the autumn, and then again<br />

through winter 2020-21.<br />

We returned to the road in April of this<br />

year and since then, touchwood, most<br />

ADIs have been teaching full-time.<br />

The period this self-assessment covers<br />

is from April 2020-March 31 <strong>2021</strong> – in<br />

other words, almost a perfect fit for the<br />

pandemic. It opens in the first weeks of<br />

lockdown and runs to almost the date at<br />

which we came out of it. Most ADIs who<br />

are self-employed will have been able to<br />

access the Self-Employed Income<br />

Support Scheme (SEISS) during this<br />

time. It goes without saying that while<br />

this was a grant and is not repayable, it<br />

is income and is therefore taxable. It<br />

must be declared on your self-assessment.<br />

Remember too that HMRC is not a<br />

daft beast. Its inspectors are well aware<br />

that driving instruction did not take place<br />

for much of 2020 and parts of <strong>2021</strong>,<br />

therefore don’t claim your ‘usual’ mileage<br />

and assume no one will notice.<br />

Self-assessment can often be a<br />


challenging time for instructors and<br />

particularly at the moment as many of<br />

you are so busy teaching, and settling<br />

down to some admin might not sound<br />

too appealing. That’s why we’d<br />

recommend using an expert in tax affairs,<br />

such as FBTC or Capital Accounting (see<br />

advertisement right).<br />

If you need any help, there is advice<br />

on the GOV.UK website. CLICK HERE to<br />

access it.<br />


If you can’t pay in full<br />

The HMRC says: We know that many<br />

of our customers are facing financial<br />

HMRC has issued a warning over phishing scams.<br />

“We’re aware of an increase over the past year in scam emails, calls and texts. If<br />

someone gets in touch claiming to be from HMRC, saying that you can claim<br />

financial help or asking you to urgently transfer money or give personal information,<br />

be on your guard.<br />

“Take your time and check HMRC’s scams advice on GOV. UK.<br />

“You can also contact HMRC directly but use phone numbers from our contacts<br />

details on GOV. UK.<br />

“You can forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@<br />

hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 605 99 and can report scam phone calls on GOV. UK by<br />

searching for ‘HMRC scams’.”<br />

difficulties due to the coronavirus<br />

(COVID-19) pandemic. If you can’t pay<br />

in full by 31 January 2022, we may be<br />

able to help by arranging an affordable<br />

payment plan. If you owe less than<br />

£30,000, you may be able to do this<br />

online without speaking to us.<br />

Go to GOV.UK and search ‘HMRC<br />

payment plan’.<br />

(or CLICK HERE)<br />

COVID-19 support schemes<br />

This year, you’ll also have to declare if<br />

you received any grants or payments<br />

from COVID-19 support schemes up to<br />

April 5 <strong>2021</strong>, as these are taxable. This<br />

includes:<br />

• Self-Employment Income Support<br />

Scheme (SEISS)<br />

• Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme<br />

(CJRS)<br />

• other COVID-19 grants and support<br />

payments such as self-isolation<br />

payments and local authority grants.<br />

Go to GOV.UK and search ‘reporting<br />

coronavirus grants’ to find out which<br />

COVID-19 grant or support payments to<br />

include on your tax return if you’re<br />

self-employed, in a partnership or a<br />

business.<br />

or CLICK HERE<br />

18<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

You must include SEISS grants on your<br />

tax return. SEISS grants are subject to<br />

Income Tax and National Insurance<br />

contributions (NICs), so you need to<br />

include them on your tax return. Report<br />

your SEISS grants in the following way:<br />

• Grants you received on or before 5<br />

April <strong>2021</strong> need to be included in your<br />

2020-21 Self Assessment tax return, due<br />

by 31 January 2022. For most people,<br />

this will be the first, second and third<br />

SEISS grants.<br />

• Grants you received on or after 6<br />

April <strong>2021</strong> need to be included in your<br />

<strong>2021</strong>-22 Self Assessment tax return, due<br />

to be submitted by 31 October 2022 if a<br />

paper return, or 31 January 2023 if an<br />

online return. For most people, this will<br />

be the fourth and fifth SEISS grants only.<br />

To find out which SEISS grants you<br />

claimed, how much you received, and<br />

when, search ‘return to your claim’ on<br />

GOV.UK and press the green ‘Start now’<br />

button. You will be able to see details of<br />

all your SEISS grants once you have<br />

signed in.<br />

In addition to SEISS, UK Government<br />

coronavirus grants and support payments<br />

are taxable, as are most payments from<br />

local authorities, the Scottish and Welsh<br />

Government and Northern Ireland<br />

Assembly. Taxable payments you<br />

received must be included on your tax<br />

return. To find out which grants or<br />

support payments you need to report,<br />

see gov .uk/report-covid -payments.<br />

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Did you receive money from the SEISS scheme?<br />

How to report SEISS on your tax return<br />

If you complete your Self Assessment<br />

tax return yourself, there is a specific box<br />

on the self-employment page for SEISS<br />

grants. You must not report your SEISS<br />

grants anywhere else on your tax return,<br />

for example in the ‘any other income’ box<br />

or as part of your turnover figure, as this<br />

may result in you being taxed twice.<br />

Guidance on how to complete your<br />

return can be found in the ‘notes’ pages<br />

for each return type. Please ensure you<br />

read these notes before completing your<br />

return. To find the notes, go to<br />

gov .uk/report-covid-payments.<br />

The deadline for submitting your<br />

2020-21 Self Assessment tax return is 31<br />

January 2022 if you submit online.<br />

The deadline for submitting your<br />

<strong>2021</strong>-22 Self Assessment tax return is:<br />

• 31 October 2022 on paper<br />

• 31 January 2023 online.<br />

If you do not submit your tax return by<br />

the applicable deadline date, you may be<br />

charged a penalty.<br />

If you have already submitted your<br />

2020-21 tax return<br />

If you have already completed your<br />

2020-21 return and you did not report<br />

your SEISS grants in the way we<br />

expected, we will contact you.<br />

If we amend your return, it’s important<br />

that you check the amendment and the<br />

SA302 tax calculation we send you, to<br />

see what we have changed.<br />

For more information, go to<br />

gov .uk/check-your -return-for-seiss.<br />

If you think you need to repay SEISS<br />

grants which are claimed incorrectly, go<br />

to gov .uk/hmrc/repay-seiss.<br />

• This is a short form of the full<br />

advice. See https://www.gov.uk/<br />

self-assessment-tax-returns<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


Company News<br />

WeDrive’s AI technology puts the ADI in<br />

control of their workload and schedule<br />

Are you using outdated<br />

tech in your job?<br />

WeDrive Instructor is the<br />

next-generation all-in-one<br />

toolkit helping today’s busy<br />

instructor work smarter, not<br />

harder<br />

Continual changes<br />

within consumer<br />

audiences and<br />

advancements in<br />

hardware and<br />

software present both<br />

a need for evolution within driver training<br />

solutions and an opportunity for<br />

revolutionary technology-driven tools to<br />

emerge in response.<br />

Modern apps and software should<br />

maximise flexibility and efficiency for<br />

instructors at minimal cost, and facilitate<br />

better learning experiences.<br />

This rationale underpins WeDrive’s<br />

suite of innovative ‘smart’ apps, designed<br />

with advanced IT and algorithms to bring<br />

today’s instructors and learners new<br />

functionalities.<br />

WeDrive’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)<br />

-enabled Theory App saw rapid take-up<br />

across a young UK-wide audience and is<br />

certainly a revolution among theory<br />

software. Its smart AI means study takes<br />

less time.<br />

Features including a national mock test<br />

leaderboard and built-in learner and<br />

instructor community help all learners<br />

pass faster.<br />

Meanwhile, it is the new WeDrive<br />

Instructor app which adds the most<br />

value and utility for ADIs. Its mission is<br />

to help them maximise revenues while<br />

achieving significant savings on both<br />

business costs and, even more<br />

importantly, their time.<br />

This is much more than simply a diary<br />

management tool. Independent ADIs can<br />

publicise their services for free by<br />

maintaining an instructor profile on the<br />

app. The ever-growing WeDrive Learner<br />

userbase – including an untapped market<br />

of international students who have<br />

arrived in the UK with no knowledge of<br />

the driver trainer network – can browse<br />

instructors’ operations within their<br />

chosen radius, view live lesson<br />

availability and pricing, make enquiries<br />

and bookings directly, and make secure<br />

payments upfront: all in-app.<br />

“We believe instructors deserve to earn<br />

more – and need not rely on franchising<br />

or ‘traditional’ expensive marketing to<br />

secure sufficient customers,” says<br />

WeDrive CMO Paul Doherty.<br />

“Instead, WeDrive’s tech allows them to<br />

efficiently market their services directly.<br />

Instructors can even choose selected<br />

learners to send notifications about vacant<br />

slots, in order to fill timetable gaps after<br />

last minute cancellations.<br />

“As a complete toolkit, WeDrive<br />

Instructor offers total control independently,<br />

avoiding either fees and commissions or<br />

the costs (and effort) of traditional<br />

marketing methods. It’s unrivalled reach –<br />

with complete flexibility.”<br />

With developments in mobile tech,<br />

consumers are increasingly comfortable<br />

using apps, whenever possible, to<br />

accomplish tasks conveniently: versus,<br />

say, browsing websites; using desktop<br />

software; phoning a stranger; or making<br />

notes manually.<br />

WeDrive Instructor is designed so<br />

instructors can take full advantage of this<br />

rather than battle against it. The smart<br />

timetabling system allows full flexibility<br />

around the slots they make publicly<br />

available, instant bookings and payments<br />

to be received, and push notifications (of<br />

new bookings, enquiries etc). The app<br />

can even automatically send outstanding<br />

payment and lesson reminders, with<br />

confirmation requests, to pupils.<br />

Other USPs incorporated are:<br />

comprehensive pupil records including<br />

theory learning progress, GPS-tracked<br />

lesson history, skill progression, and<br />

shareable upcoming lesson notes; full<br />

exportable financial record-keeping and<br />

planning; and, uniquely, access to a<br />

Quora-style community of learners and<br />

instructors centred around improving<br />

driving ability and confidence.<br />

“All this serves to free instructors to<br />

focus on what they do best: training<br />

drivers,” says Paul.<br />

“User feedback, especially from ADIs<br />

consulted throughout our development<br />

stages, has been heartening,” he adds.<br />

“It’s something we’ll always welcome<br />

and incorporate into our innovations. We<br />

look forward to making valued<br />

contributions to the industry”.<br />

Click the WeDrive Instructor ad<br />

to find it in your app store.<br />

Further information: www.wedrive.fun<br />

20<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Warning over scams targeting over 70s<br />

DVLA received notifications<br />

from 803 drivers who<br />

unnecessarily parted with<br />

money to renew their driving<br />

licence at 70 years old through<br />

a bogus third party website.<br />

The DVLA is urging drivers aged 70 and<br />

over to keep their money in their pocket<br />

this Christmas, after the agency revealed<br />

that more than 800 drivers had notified<br />

them about third-party websites charging<br />

hefty premiums for their services.<br />

Many of these sites appear high up in<br />

the results on a Google search, resulting<br />

in scores of drivers inadvertently using a<br />

third-party website, when they believe<br />

they are dealing with DVLA.<br />

The agency is reminding drivers to<br />

always use GOV.UK, the official<br />

government website, to prevent being<br />

charged additional fees.<br />

New figures released at the end of<br />

November show that in the last 12<br />

months, DVLA received notifications<br />

from 803 drivers who unnecessarily<br />

parted with money to renew their driving<br />

licence at 70 years old through a third<br />

party website.<br />

Some of these sites charge up to £81<br />

handling fee, which is £20 more than<br />

the cost of a typical weekly family shop.<br />

Third party websites charge a fee to<br />

pass a driver’s application to DVLA, but<br />

these sites are not affiliated with DVLA,<br />

and applications made through third<br />

party websites will not be processed any<br />

quicker than those made through GOV.<br />

UK.<br />

GOV. UK is the only place to access<br />

DVLA’s online services where you can be<br />

guaranteed not to be charged additional<br />

fees on top of any statutory fees that<br />

may apply.<br />

Julie Lennard, DVLA Chief Executive<br />

said: “Drivers looking to renew their<br />

licence at 70 and over should use our<br />

online service which is secure, free of<br />

charge, and also the quickest and easiest<br />

way to transact with DVLA. Customers<br />

usually receive their driving licence in<br />

just five days.<br />

“Always remember to always use GOV.<br />

UK when using any of DVLA’s many<br />

online services.”<br />

When a driver reaches their 70th<br />

birthday, they must renew their<br />

entitlement to drive every three years.<br />

DVLA reminds drivers 90 days before<br />

their licence is due to expire, and the<br />

quickest and easiest way to renew a<br />

licence is to go to GOV.UK where the<br />

service is quick, easy to use, available<br />

24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is<br />

free of charge.<br />

See https://www.gov.uk/renew-drivinglicence-at-70<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


B+E Testing: the impact on ADIs<br />

The news that B+E testing was to be scrapped this autumn came as huge shock to the entire road<br />

safety and driver training community – but the impact was felt most keenly by those ADIs who had<br />

focused their businesses solely on this form of training. One such ADI was Steve Thomas, an instructor<br />

who runs Raglan Driver Training in Bellbowrie, near Monmouth, South Wales. Steve, who has offered<br />

comments on the government’s controversial decision in previous issues of <strong>Newslink</strong>, was left<br />

devastated by the announcement, which at a stroke ripped apart a business built up over 18 years. He<br />

talked to <strong>Newslink</strong>’s Rob Beswick about the decision, how he had been affected and his thoughts three<br />

months on as he rebuilds his career<br />

18 years of hard graft...<br />

scrapped overnight<br />

on a political whim<br />

Three months on from the<br />

announcement that B+E testing<br />

was going to be scrapped, it’s fair<br />

to say that Steve Thomas still<br />

feels pretty raw. “I’ll be honest, I’m still<br />

shell-shocked,” he told me. “I’ve tried,<br />

but I still can’t get my head round it. It<br />

came as such a shock, so out of the<br />

blue, that it still doesn’t feel real, even<br />

three months on.”<br />

He took me back to the point when he<br />

knew that his business, Raglan Driver<br />

Training, was in trouble. “There was<br />

nothing to suggest a change was coming.<br />

Why should it change? The system<br />

worked well.<br />

“I was out on a lesson on September<br />

10 with a client when I was aware my<br />

phone was going mental with messages.<br />

I thought something must be up so when<br />

we got a chance, we pulled over and I<br />

checked my phone. I had dozens of<br />

messages from friends, colleagues,<br />

clients, all asking me what was going on.<br />

They’d heard this announcement that<br />

B+E tests were to be scrapped almost<br />

immediately, with examiners shifted to<br />

LGV testing. I couldn’t believe it.”<br />

He got home and checked his emails<br />

and sure enough, there was the news he<br />

had never expected to read. “B+E<br />

testing is cancelled from September 21<br />

onwards. That’s it. I had a full cohort of<br />

customers booked in for training the next<br />

week, and for weeks after, with tests<br />

booked, everything. The lot was now in<br />

jeopardy.”<br />

It was the speed and suddenness that<br />

took him most by surprise. “Plenty of<br />

people have had their jobs ripped from<br />

underneath them over the years. Think<br />

about the coal industry, the steel works...<br />

but they always knew it was coming.<br />

There was an announcement,<br />

discussions on redundancy, months of<br />

talks before the gates were closed.<br />

“This wasn’t like that. One day I was<br />

training, the next day, my business<br />

model was destroyed.”<br />

It would be nice to say that his clients<br />

still saw the value of training without a<br />

test at the end of – after all, that’s what<br />

the DVSA has said people should do<br />

– but in the real world of <strong>2021</strong>, that isn’t<br />

what happened. “People ran for the hills;<br />

just about every customer who had<br />

training booked cancelled with immediate<br />

effect. I went from a full book of<br />

customers to none overnight. The only<br />

thing I could do was claw the test fees<br />

back.”<br />

To Steve, it effectively destroyed 18<br />

years of hard graft building up a<br />

flourishing business. “I’ve been an ADI<br />

for 22 years, and to start with I was<br />

teaching learners, just like the majority of<br />

ADIs do. But where I’m based, it’s a very<br />

rural area, a lot of farms, lots of<br />

farmworkers towing trailers and horse<br />

boxes, that sort of thing, and there has<br />

always been a greater need for a B+E<br />

licence around here than in most<br />

places.”<br />

His switch to teaching the B+E<br />

classification came after a chance<br />

conversation with an examiner. “I’d taken<br />

a young farmer on for lessons, and he<br />

had his driving test and passed. After the<br />

test I was chatting to the examiner who<br />

said ‘he’s a good driver - you should have<br />

him back with you next week so he can<br />

get his B+E licence’, as he was<br />

obviously going to be using his new<br />

driving skills for work, which would<br />

inevitably involve towing at some point,<br />

even if it’s only a trailer full of animal<br />

feed around the farm.”<br />

He chatted to the new driver, arranged<br />

to carry on teaching him, but this time<br />

giving him the skills he’d need for the<br />

B+E test – and the switch in emphasis<br />

for Raglan Training was underway.<br />

“It started slowly but increasingly, I<br />

found more and more people who<br />

needed a B+E licence coming to me for<br />

training. I’d do one a week, then 6-7 a<br />

month, and before long it was 2-3 tests<br />

every week.”<br />

His business model was simple. “I’d<br />

give a new customer a two-hour<br />

assessment lesson, and then we’d have a<br />

chat and get a test booked for 6-8 weeks<br />

22<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Steve Thomas<br />

time. I’d then take them out for two days<br />

of intensive training. Sometimes, if<br />

people didn’t pick it up straight away I’d<br />

need to do a few more hours on top, but<br />

in the main two days was enough to<br />

make them safe towers of trailers or<br />

caravans and get them up to the<br />

standard to pass the test.”<br />

Most of his work was with<br />

‘experienced’ drivers so “you don’t have<br />

to go through the basics, they can all<br />

drive, you just needed to knock the rough<br />

edges and bad habits off them. ” In<br />

addition Steve taught them how to load<br />

the towed vehicle correctly; that’s<br />

particularly important in farming<br />

communities. If they are towing a trailer<br />

the loads can shift easily as they are<br />

usually loose, so they needed to<br />

understand what that does to the<br />

dynamics and handling. In addition I’d<br />

work with people towing horse boxes:<br />

you get different problems with them,<br />

such as how to carry one horse in a<br />

two-horse box (thus making the box<br />

lop-sided, weight-wise).”<br />

Steve loved this new sector. “It just<br />

took over. I wasn’t stuck in the car all<br />

day, we’d be out in lovely countryside,<br />

we’d spend some time in the open air<br />

looking at the trailer, learning how to<br />

attach it safely. It gave me a really varied<br />

working day and I enjoyed it.<br />

“Most of my customers were decent<br />

drivers who understood the principles<br />

involved – farming lads with good<br />

common sense and practical skills who<br />

just needed someone to point them in<br />

the right direction.”<br />

He kept his hand in with the occasional<br />

learner and brought a couple of ADIs<br />

under this wing to look after L-drivers,<br />

but for Steve, B+E was his future.<br />

‘‘<br />

I wasn’t stuck in the car all<br />

day, we’d be out in lovely<br />

countryside, we’d spend<br />

some time in the open air<br />

looking at the trailer, learning<br />

how to attach it safely.<br />

‘‘<br />

“I had developed good relationships<br />

with caravan dealerships in the region,<br />

who would point new customers in my<br />

direction when they bought a caravan. I<br />

also used to attend farmers and<br />

agricultural shows, and got a lot of<br />

business that way – 5-10 new clients<br />

each time. So many people didn’t realise<br />

that their driving licence didn’t let them<br />

tow a trailer or caravan, and were<br />

shocked when they found out.”<br />

Business was booming and somewhat<br />

ironically, in recent months Covid-19 was<br />

a major driver. “Loads of people got into<br />

caravanning this year for the first time.<br />

They were nervous about booking a hotel<br />

abroad because of travel rules or booking<br />

a static caravan because of possible<br />

infection, and so thought, ‘let’s give<br />

caravanning a go, we’ll be safe in our<br />

own little home, it’ll be fun’. I had a glut<br />

of new bookings for lessons.”<br />

In addition, changes to the law around<br />

corporate manslaughter has sharpened<br />

many businesses’ thinking around the<br />

driving their staff do. “I reckon 30 per<br />

cent of my customers are caravans, 50<br />

per cent are farmers and builders who<br />

need to tow trailers, and the rest are<br />

businesses; one-man bands such as<br />

catering companies or people towing<br />

trailers to exhibitions.<br />

“Demand was so high I had a decent<br />

waiting list and I was genuinely thinking,<br />

I’ve got everything cracked now, I can<br />

look forward to a good, steady income<br />

from now to retirement in about a<br />

decade.”<br />

Indeed, “I checked my books and I’d<br />

had the best quarter ever from April-June<br />

this. I was working seven days a week.”<br />

Another irony; around this time “my wife<br />

said I was doing too much and needed to<br />

slow down and take it a bit easier…”<br />

Then came September. “I’ve looked<br />

back through my diary and I had 94<br />

people on my list when the bombshell<br />

landed. If each one needed two days<br />

training, plus a day for the test, that’s<br />

many months of work. I was certainly<br />

fully committed until next Spring. But it’s<br />

all gone.”<br />

Of the 94 on the list, “six said they’d<br />

go on and have some training.” Here’s a<br />

sobering assessment of one: “One lady<br />

had just bought a caravan. She found out<br />

she didn’t need to take a B+E test and<br />

was going to cancel but I convinced her<br />

to have half-a-day’s training. By the time<br />

she’d finished that she was nowhere near<br />

the old test standard but she was, at<br />

least, safe – which she wouldn’t have<br />

been before.”<br />

Which begs the question, what about<br />

the other 88… because that tale is, in a<br />

nutshell, what we all have to look<br />

forward to on our roads next summer:<br />

thousands of untrained novices towing<br />

caravans and trailer tents for the first<br />

time.<br />

Continued on page 24<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


B+E Testing: the impact on ADIs<br />

Continued from page 23<br />

“The way a car handles when it’s<br />

towing is very different to when it’s not.<br />

It’s a totally different dynamic, and that’s<br />

before you start taking into account<br />

manoeuvres, roundabouts, tight turns,<br />

etc – and loading. All that knowledge will<br />

now need to be learned on the road by<br />

drivers teaching themselves – because,<br />

trust me, the public won’t come forward<br />

for lessons now there is no need to be<br />

tested.”<br />

Steve has retained a handful of<br />

commercial clients for towing. For<br />

instance, at the time we spoke he had a<br />

few days work booked in with regular<br />

client National Resources Wales.<br />

“Companies will still consider it<br />

important to have some training as it<br />

protects them from corporate<br />

manslaughter charges and health and<br />

safety investigations, which can result<br />

from at-work incidents involving trailers,”<br />

he says. But apart from that, that’s it.<br />

He remains philosophical about the<br />

loss of the business, and tries to find<br />

some shafts of light, but “I can’t get<br />

away from it, as every time I come<br />

home, there on the drive is my towing<br />

car and the trailer I used on lessons.<br />

Both of them costing thousands and just<br />

sitting there idle.”<br />

Cruel timing hasn’t helped on that<br />

front. “I’d leased my last towing car since<br />

2016 but it came off lease as we came<br />

out of lockdown. I decided to take out<br />

one of the government’s bounceback<br />

loans and invested in a new towing car…<br />

payments start in January.”<br />

There is some good news for Steve,<br />

which comes off the current shortage of<br />

ADIs available to teach learners. “I have<br />

three ADIs who work for me and they<br />

always got the lion’s share of the pupils,<br />

but I’d have 6-10 on my books at any<br />

one time. It was good to keep my hand<br />

in with learners and it was better for the<br />

Standards Check. With the increase in<br />

demand since lockdowns ended I’ve<br />

taken more learners on and I’m pretty<br />

much at full capacity already.<br />

“It’s need a big adjustment on my part<br />

but things are going okay.<br />

“I’d still be happier doing the B+E<br />

work, mind.”<br />

Does he think that training will come<br />

back? “I don’t think so. With no test<br />

required, we’re asking people to train to<br />

do something they reckon they all do<br />

well anyway. How many new<br />

caravanners will take up training? Ask<br />

yourself this: how many companies put<br />

their drivers through fleet training? Some,<br />

but not many. How many drivers take on<br />

‘‘<br />

The knowledge they need to<br />

keep them safe will have to be<br />

learned on the go – because<br />

trust me, the public won’t<br />

come for lessons now they<br />

won’t be tested...<br />

‘‘<br />

advanced courses or do any further<br />

training once they pass their L-test? Once<br />

they pass their L-test, most think they<br />

can do it all.”<br />

Steve thinks the future of B+E training<br />

will become clearer in March. “Over the<br />

past 18 years I’ve learned that there is a<br />

cycle to caravan sales. Lots of people<br />

have one last summer holiday and then<br />

say, ‘that’s it, we’ll pack it in’ once the<br />

autumn comes. They are looking to sell<br />

– but no-one will buy at that point as<br />

they know they’ll have to store it<br />

somewhere over the winter, and you<br />

can’t use your new purchase straight<br />

away. As a side point, if you’re ever<br />

thinking of buying a caravan, now’s the<br />

time!<br />

“The change comes in March. That’s<br />

when people start thinking about their<br />

summer holidays and they go looking for<br />

a caravan. I think, with all the virus<br />

stories still flying around, loads will be<br />

looking at getting one next year for the<br />

first time.<br />

“Normally my phone is ringing<br />

non-stop in early spring with people<br />

who’ve just bought themselves a<br />

caravan, whether new or second hand,<br />

and they suddenly realise they need to<br />

take a test. The demographics tell us that<br />

most people buy caravans when they’ve<br />

got young families – so around 28-40<br />

years of age – and this group were born<br />

in 1981 to the mid-90s, so in the past<br />

they won’t have had the B+E exemption.<br />

I’d be flat out training that group.”<br />

Not now, of course, as there is no B+E<br />

test required. That will suppress demand<br />

but Steve hopes that some people will<br />

“get behind the wheel for the first time<br />

while towing and realise it isn’t as easy<br />

as they thought.”<br />

“They’ll get to a roundabout, the<br />

caravan will be swaying from side to side<br />

and they’ll think ‘woah, what’s going on’,<br />

or they’ll try to park it and it’ll be a<br />

nightmare. Hopefully, they’ll see sense<br />

and come for lessons.”<br />

It would help, he says, if the DVSA /<br />

DfT would launch an advertising<br />

campaign, informing the public of the<br />

dangers and telling them to take training.<br />

If not… “we’ll see standards fall – and<br />

that will mean crashes. I’d be interested<br />

to see the stats on trailer-related crashes<br />

in the future. I liked the cover of<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong>, with the crashed caravan and<br />

the stat: What was it… ‘In 1997, 46<br />

people were killed in crashes that<br />

involved towing, with 238 other ‘serious’<br />

incidents... by 2019 these figures had<br />

fallen to 96 serious incidents and just<br />

two fatalities...’<br />

“That’s a pretty stark difference and<br />

shows the benefits the testing had. It’s<br />

not a coincidence. It shows what the<br />

roads were like before 1997… and what<br />

they’re like now.<br />

“It will take some time but every year,<br />

new people will buy a caravan or start<br />

towing a trailer, and each one is a<br />

liability, in their own way.<br />

“This will hit standards hard; I’m just<br />

hoping people don’t pay for this<br />

government’s decision with their lives.”<br />

24<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

The ‘history’ of<br />

the driving<br />

licence – Part III<br />

Rod Came goes all<br />

HG Wells as he looks back<br />

at <strong>2021</strong> from the near<br />

future and tries to make<br />

sense of the demise of<br />

the driving licence...<br />

Don’t worry if you haven’t read The<br />

History of the Driving Licence Parts 1 &<br />

2... they haven’t been written yet. The<br />

reason is I wanted to reduce the use of<br />

paper and printing ink, this will help<br />

combat global warming.<br />

Cast your mind back to the 1960s.<br />

The railways were losing money, lots of<br />

it, so it was decided to do away with<br />

many, many loss-making rural lines. A lot<br />

of folk were not happy with this but it<br />

went ahead anyway. The lines were<br />

closed and the tracks ripped up resulting<br />

in very few goods being transported by<br />

rail.<br />

Several decades passed and it became<br />

more apparent that perhaps this was not<br />

a good idea after all. People still needed<br />

to travel and goods needed to be<br />

transported to customers, either directly<br />

or via retailers.<br />

The population grew, the range of<br />

goods expanded, more people moved out<br />

of towns and cities to the countryside,<br />

distribution and travel became a<br />

nightmare.<br />

Following the demise of the railways<br />

an increasing number of heavy goods<br />

vehicles appeared on the roads. The<br />

drivers were skilled and known as ‘The<br />

Knights of the Road’. As time passed it<br />

became apparent that there was not<br />

enough of them, in fact there was a<br />

national panic, more in Government than<br />

among the populace, and urgent<br />

unplanned rapid steps were introduced<br />

to give the impression of appearing to<br />

deal with the problem.<br />

Media reports in September/October<br />

<strong>2021</strong> of a shortage of petrol and diesel<br />

sent people into a flat spin which<br />

resulted in many fuel suppliers running<br />

out of stock, this being caused by queues<br />

of vehicles filling their tanks to the brim.<br />

It was very similar to the mediagenerated<br />

frenzy about the likely lack of<br />

toilet rolls roughly 18 months before.<br />

However, this highlighted the fact that<br />

the dwindling number of truck drivers<br />

who delivered such vital supplies was<br />

unable to cope with the demand. The<br />

loss of drivers had been going on for<br />

years, not only in the UK but also in<br />

Europe and America, but it had been<br />

ignored.<br />

The time had arrived for the UK<br />

Government to take action.<br />

It was decided to allow an increase of<br />

the number of working hours an HGV<br />

driver could undertake, as though that<br />

would make much difference, especially<br />

when the drivers pointed out that they<br />

work long enough as it is, thank you.<br />

It was also decided that it was no<br />

longer necessary for a driver who had<br />

passed their car driving test in a small<br />

car to have to take another test to drive a<br />

‘‘<br />

There were always some<br />

people who didn’t want to take<br />

a driving test of any kind, and<br />

the official declaration that<br />

some tests were not necessary<br />

only reinforced that view...<br />

‘‘<br />

towing vehicle and trailer weighing up to<br />

seven tonnes, contrary to the advice from<br />

all the road safety experts. Figures that<br />

had indicated a consistent drop in<br />

trailer-related crashes began to take an<br />

upward climb.<br />

Another change introduced was that<br />

HGV drivers would no longer have to<br />

progress test-wise from cars to rigid<br />

vehicles and then on to articulated<br />

trucks. They could go straight from their<br />

car test to driving an artic with just one<br />

more driving test, in an artic, which also<br />

allowed them to drive smaller rigid trucks.<br />

The number of new truck drivers barely<br />

exceeded the number leaving the<br />

industry, consequently little improvement<br />

in the distribution of goods was achieved.<br />

Another downside was that these<br />

moves started the demise of the driving<br />

licence.<br />

There had always been a minority of<br />

people driving cars and vans who did not<br />

think it necessary to take any sort of test<br />

or obtain a driving licence through the<br />

official avenues, and the government’s<br />

declaration that some driving tests were<br />

no longer necessary only reinforced their<br />

view.<br />

Back in 2030, in the UK, it was no<br />

longer possible to buy new fossil-fuelled<br />

vehicles, electric power was introduced<br />

in a big way. As time passed cars, vans,<br />

buses and trucks all became propelled<br />

either by plug-in electric power or<br />

hydrogen-generated electric power from<br />

fuel cells.<br />

Electronics had been used more and<br />

more in vehicles and when full electric<br />

power became the norm most of the<br />

activities which previously were the<br />

province of the driver were taken over.<br />

Ultimately, this moved to the point where<br />

vehicles of all types were able to travel<br />

from one location to another with no<br />

driver input.<br />

This resulted in the manufacturers<br />

being able to build vehicles with no<br />

controls for the driver to use and interfere<br />

with the progress of the vehicle in any<br />

circumstances. Vehicles became<br />

autonomous in their own right by not<br />

needing a driver.<br />

As vehicles now no longer need a<br />

driver, permissions such as a driving<br />

licence are no longer required, in fact,<br />

some antique licences are becoming<br />

collectors’ items, changing hands for<br />

considerable sums of money.<br />

In a little under 150 years a driving<br />

licence, once considered to be a right of<br />

passage, has now disappeared.<br />

Few will mourn its passing.<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


Company Profile<br />

AA Driving School gives me<br />

everything I need to succeed<br />

Jenna Williams, an ADI based in<br />

Cardiff who operates with an<br />

AA Driving School Full Franchise,<br />

talks to <strong>Newslink</strong> about her<br />

experiences as a driving instructor<br />

with the company<br />

When did you become an ADI?<br />

I have been an ADI for exactly four<br />

years this month, having started my<br />

training around a year earlier. I’m so<br />

pleased I completed the training as I<br />

thoroughly enjoy my life as a driving<br />

instructor!<br />

What first attracted you to train to<br />

become a driving instructor?<br />

When I left school I didn’t really know<br />

what I wanted to do or which career path<br />

to choose. My partner encouraged me to<br />

become a driving instructor as he had<br />

worked in the industry and felt I had the<br />

right qualities to be successful.<br />

I’m so pleased I went for it, as I feel<br />

like I’ve found a role that I’m good at it<br />

and it’s the right job for me.<br />

I love meeting lots of different people,<br />

teaching them a life skill and seeing<br />

them succeed.<br />

Do you feel being a driving instructor<br />

offers you a good work-life balance?<br />

I really appreciate the flexibility my role<br />

as a driving instructor offers me. I have a<br />

young family and can juggle my childcare<br />

and nursery needs with having a<br />

rewarding job. Having control over the<br />

hours I work is key and being able to dial<br />

up or down the hours I work, provides<br />

the perfect balance.<br />

What type of franchise do you have?<br />

I joined the AA on a Full Franchise and<br />

it offers everything I need. When I first<br />

qualified, I was a little nervous about<br />

being self-employed but knowing I have<br />

the full backing and support of the AA is<br />

really reassuring.<br />

What made you choose the AA Full<br />

Franchise?<br />

I chose to join the AA Full Franchise as<br />

it provides me with everything I need to<br />

run my business successfully – from a<br />

high spec car and pupil allocation to the<br />

customer service team who are always<br />

on hand.<br />

At quieter periods, having the<br />

knowledge that you can turn to the AA<br />

for support in gaining new pupils is<br />

hugely comforting. Also having a high<br />

spec car might not have been an option<br />

if I had gone out on my own, but with<br />

the Full Franchise I get a new car every<br />

two years and know that if I am involved<br />

in an accident the AA is on hand to<br />

provide me with a courtesy car, with no<br />

damage to my business.<br />

There is also the extra support from<br />

the customer service team who offer that<br />

extra reassurance and are on hand if<br />

anything does go wrong, or if you have<br />

any queries.<br />

Does the AA Full Franchise give you the<br />

freedom to run your business your way?<br />

Yes, it absolutely does. I am fully in<br />

control of my business and making it a<br />

success. I get to choose my working<br />

hours, the locations I cover and set my<br />

own rates. However, I still have the<br />

support of the AA – I definitely feel that<br />

the Full Franchise offers me an easy life!<br />

What is it you enjoy most about being a<br />

driving instructor?<br />

I enjoy the flexibility that my job<br />

provides me and my family, but I feel<br />

most fortunate to be in a job that I really<br />

enjoy. It can be stressful at times, but it’s<br />

typically quite a relaxed and fun<br />

environment.<br />

When you’re teaching and coaching<br />

someone to drive, you know that they are<br />

there because they want to learn, so they<br />

are engaged and ready to listen. Seeing<br />

the excitement and joy when people<br />

succeed is amazing.<br />

Building a strong rapport throughout<br />

their lessons has meant that I have made<br />

many new friends in the process.<br />

What would you say to anyone<br />

considering taking an AA Full Franchise?<br />

I would simply say go for it!<br />

Left, one of the AA’s new Ford Pumas<br />

26<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

‘It’s amazing where that little<br />

green badge can take you’<br />

Look to diversify your<br />

driver training workload<br />

with Green Penny<br />

After many ADIs found themselves in<br />

the extremely difficult position of not<br />

being able to work at all during the<br />

recent lockdowns caused by COVID-19,<br />

many forward-thinking ADIs are now<br />

looking at diversifying the services they<br />

can offer.<br />

While the current demand for driving<br />

lessons is fantastic for the industry, past<br />

experience tells us this won’t last forever.<br />

Having a number of income streams into<br />

your business helps to keep you prepared<br />

for whatever the future may throw at us<br />

all. Being able to offer your services as a<br />

trainer within the fleet market, or to other<br />

types of clients in a classroom<br />

environment, not only provides the<br />

security of varying income streams, but<br />

also helps to provide a great deal of<br />

variety to the working week.<br />

Green Penny’s Business & Training<br />

Manager, Andy Clement, made the<br />

decision seven years ago to take up the<br />

relevant training to be able to do exactly<br />

that: “Since qualifying as an ADI back in<br />

2012, it was always my intention to<br />

diversify as much as I could and having<br />

spent 20 years in the corporate world,<br />

going back to business-to-business<br />

training was a natural progression.<br />

“I qualified as a fleet trainer in 2014<br />

and initially broke up my working week<br />

with learners with one or two days of<br />

fleet training.<br />

“This progressed on to driver<br />

assessment work, followed by classroom<br />

training, both of which I thoroughly<br />

enjoyed.<br />

“I joined Green Penny full-time in<br />

2019 and now have the training<br />

manager role, heading up the on-road<br />

and classroom training sides of the<br />

business, training ADIs to become fleet<br />

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Andy<br />

Clement:<br />

‘There are so<br />

many work<br />

opportunities<br />

out there for<br />

ADIs’<br />

qualified, as well as course development<br />

and implementation.<br />

“Its amazing where that little green<br />

badge can take you in life and there are<br />

so many work and development<br />

opportunities, whether you choose to just<br />

carry out learner driver training or progress<br />

on like I did with other avenues.”<br />

Green Penny offers a range of courses<br />

to help ADIs diversify into many other<br />

areas of the industry.<br />

To take a look at what’s on offer, visit<br />

greenpenny.co.uk or to take the next<br />

step and discuss enrolling onto a course<br />

via info@greenpenny.co.uk or call us on<br />

0330 111 7230.<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


MSA GB Events<br />


MSA GB Annual<br />

Conference 2022<br />

WE’RE BACK with an in-person Conference for 2022<br />

Join us at our Annual<br />

Conference 2022 at the<br />

Double Tree by Hilton<br />

Hotel, Coventry<br />

Weekend of<br />

Friday & Saturday,<br />

18th & 19th March *<br />

• DVSA officials<br />

• Trade stands<br />

• Networking events<br />

• Road safety speakers<br />

• Business advice<br />

• MSA GB AGM<br />

* see facing page for more details<br />

We are delighted to announce that our Annual<br />

Conference is returning for 2022 after two years in<br />

abeyance.<br />

In March 2020 we were all set to convene in<br />

Coventry at the DoubleTree by Hilton when the<br />

Covid-19 pandemic started to get its grip on the UK,<br />

and we were sadly forced to cancel.<br />

Earlier this year, in light of continuing restrictions, we<br />

ran the Annual Conference and AGM as a digital event,<br />

where we saw many members join us online to hear<br />

presentations from, among others, Loveday Ryder,<br />

Chief Executive of the DVSA.<br />

However, as things stand we are returning to an<br />

in-person event for 2022 – so make a date in your<br />

diary now for the weekend of March 18th & 19th.<br />

Why the weekend? Because we want you to help us<br />

plan this event. On the facing page you will see some<br />

information as to what we are considering; we want to<br />

hear your views before we decide the format for the<br />

event.<br />

As with our previous conferences, the event will<br />

include:<br />

• Keynote presentations from industry experts,<br />

including officials from the DVSA<br />

• Time for Q&A with leaders of our profession<br />

• Presentations from road safety and business<br />

professionals on topic of interest to ADIs<br />

• Industry update<br />

• Trade stands<br />

• Networking opportunities with your fellow ADIs.<br />

• MSA GB AGM<br />

BOOKING and PRICING will be revealed in our<br />

JANUARY issue – but make a note now in your diary.<br />

28<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

The DoubleTree by Hilton is a superb hotel with<br />

top-quality leisure facilities, premium rooms<br />

and great levels of service. It’s the ideal venue<br />

for our event.<br />

Weekend itinerary:<br />

What do you want?<br />

We have a number of options available for the weekend<br />

– but we want you to tell us which format works best<br />

for you.<br />

OPTION 1<br />


Full day’s conference from 9am-4.30pm, including MSA GB<br />

AGM. Day to include morning coffee, sit-down lunch and<br />

afternoon tea. MSA GB Awards presentation and AGM to be<br />

held during the day. Cost to include all paperwork.<br />


OPTION 2<br />


Meet at hotel from 4pm. Friday night buffet with fellow<br />

delegates, a great chance to relax, network and catch up with<br />

old friends. Full day’s conference next day from 9am-4.30pm,<br />

including MSA GB AGM and awards. Cost to include morning<br />

coffee, sit-down lunch and afternoon tea, and all paperwork.<br />

Note: If we host the Conference from Friday night, a special<br />

B&B room rate has been organised with the hotel for<br />

delegates and guests.<br />


Bringing a non-delegate guest? Our host hotel<br />

has superb leisure facilities for them to use, and<br />

Coventry is a fascinating city with some great<br />

attractions, including the world-famous<br />

cathedral and peace museum<br />

OPTION 3<br />


Full day’s conference from 9am-4.30pm, including<br />

MSA GB AGM. Day to include morning coffee,<br />

sit-down lunch and afternoon tea. MSA GB Awards<br />

presentation and AGM to be held during the day.<br />

Cost to include all paperwork. Followed by Saturday<br />

night dinner, a great chance to relax with fellow<br />

delegates/catch up with old friends.<br />

Note: If Conference includes the Saturday night<br />

social event, a special B&B room rate has been<br />

organised with the hotel for delegates and guests.<br />


Which option works best for you? Let us know: Email Peter Harvey at info@msagb.com<br />

with your preferred choice. You can just say Option 1, Option 2 or Option 3 – or if you have other<br />

ideas, let us know them!<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


Technical briefing<br />

Moving up<br />

the gears<br />

Steel or<br />

concrete?<br />

Better initial<br />

protection<br />

v more<br />

deformability<br />

and control of<br />

the crashed<br />

vehicle<br />

for road<br />

safety barriers<br />

by Tom Harrington<br />

Traffic barriers are an effective countermeasure<br />

for reducing the severity of<br />

Run-off-Road (ROR) crashes. Their main<br />

task is to redirect the vehicles running<br />

off the road to keep them safe in the<br />

clear zone. The design is critical: it must<br />

be strong enough to control the vehicles<br />

and transfer forces away from the<br />

vehicle’s occupants to avoid serious<br />

injuries. However, traffic barriers were<br />

initially designed to avoid vehicles from<br />

running off the road with less emphasis<br />

on reducing the severity of impact.<br />

Unfortunately, many of the old traffic<br />

barrier segments have not been<br />

upgraded in accordance with recent<br />

design policies due to the substantial<br />

cost needed to replace them. In<br />

addition, the speed limit, as a parameter<br />

related to crash severity, has been<br />

changed considerably over the last four<br />

decades.<br />

Here I will look at the various types of<br />

crash barriers and their effectiveness,<br />

and also dispels the motorcyclists’<br />

‘Cheese Cutter’ myth.<br />

There are two types of safety<br />

barriers. They can either redirect<br />

vehicles back onto the<br />

carriageway, or stop a vehicle<br />

immediately so that it cannot pass<br />

through the barrier. Traffic barriers<br />

keep vehicles within their roadway and<br />

prevent them from colliding with<br />

dangerous obstacles such as trees,<br />

bridge abutments and walls. They are<br />

also installed within medians of divided<br />

highways to prevent errant vehicles from<br />

entering the opposing carriageway of<br />

traffic and help to reduce head-on<br />

collisions. Some are designed to be<br />

struck from either side and are called<br />

median barriers. Traffic barriers can also<br />

be used to protect vulnerable areas like<br />

school yards, pedestrian zones, and fuel<br />

tanks from errant vehicles.<br />

While barriers are normally designed to<br />

minimise injury, they do occur in<br />

collisions with traffic barriers and as a<br />

result should only be installed when a<br />

collision with the barrier is likely to be<br />

less severe than a collision with the<br />

hazard behind it. Indeed, such is the<br />

potential for harm that it is better to<br />

remove, relocate or modify a hazard,<br />

rather than shield it with a barrier.<br />

To make sure they are safe and effective,<br />

traffic barriers undergo extensive simulated<br />

and full crash testing before they are<br />

approved for general use. While crash<br />

testing cannot replicate every potential<br />

manner of impact, testing programmes<br />

are designed to determine the<br />

performance limits of traffic barriers and<br />

provide an adequate level of protection to<br />

road users.<br />

There are three main types of safety<br />

barrier (but within these types there are<br />

different systems which have their own<br />

specific performance characteristics).<br />

• Flexible barriers are made from wire<br />

rope supported between frangible posts.<br />

Flexible barriers may be the best option<br />

for minimising injuries to vehicle<br />

occupants; however they may pose a risk<br />

to motorcyclists.<br />

These barriers deflect more than other<br />

barrier types and need to be repaired<br />

following impact to maintain their<br />

re-directive capability.<br />

• Semi-rigid barriers are usually made<br />

from steel beams or rails. These deflect<br />

less than flexible barriers and so they can<br />

be located closer to the hazard when<br />

space is limited. Depending on the<br />

impact these barriers may be able to<br />

redirect secondary impacts.<br />

• Rigid barriers are usually made of<br />

concrete and do not deflect. Rigid<br />

barriers should be used only where there<br />

is no room for deflection of a semi-rigid<br />

or flexible barrier.<br />

Rigid barriers are often utilised at high<br />

volume roadwork sites to protect road<br />

workers or others, particularly where<br />

another barrier type is awaiting repair.<br />

Currently these provide the highest level<br />

of containment of heavy vehicles. In<br />

most cases following impact these<br />

barriers require little or no maintenance.<br />

Much of the benefit from the use of<br />

barriers comes from a reduction in crash<br />

severity. Although a crash may still occur,<br />

it is likely to have a safer consequence<br />

than colliding with the object that the<br />

barrier is protecting.<br />

If properly designed, installed and<br />

maintained, barriers should reduce the<br />

severity of crashes involving ‘out of<br />

control’ vehicles, and greatly reduce the<br />

likelihood of head-on crashes.<br />

Rolling Barrier System<br />

Worldwide, every year, around 1.25<br />

30<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

million people die and millions more are<br />

injured as a result of road traffic crashes.<br />

The latest emerging technology for road<br />

safety is focusing on finding ways to<br />

avoid or minimise road accidents and<br />

KSIs. Urethane Roller Barriers help to<br />

re-direct vehicles crashing into the<br />

barriers back onto the road. Rolling<br />

Barriers (RB) provide a cushioning effect<br />

during a crash, reducing the high-speed<br />

effect and helping reduce injury to the<br />

vehicle’s occupants.<br />

These are extremely effective and their<br />

implementation has shown significant<br />

results in reducing injuries on flat roads,<br />

curved road sections, ramps, medians,<br />

entrances, exit ramps and in steep<br />

mountainous roads with bends.<br />

The Rolling Barriers absorb impact<br />

energy and convert it into rotational<br />

energy and direct the vehicle forward<br />

rather than breaking through an<br />

immovable steel barrier.<br />

Rolling Barrier - How Does it Work?<br />

Rolling barriers has a rotating barrel<br />

made of EVA with excellent shock<br />

absorption power, three-dimensional<br />

buffering frames and dense props<br />

supporting the frames. Rotating Barrels<br />

comes with attached reflective sheeting<br />

for good visibility.<br />

EVA has better flexibility and elasticity<br />

compared to other polyethylene<br />

resins and has almost similar features to<br />

rubber. In fact, it’s lighter than rubber<br />

and more elastic than urethane. In short,<br />

it’s not easily damaged.<br />

When a car hits the guardrail, the<br />

rotating barrel converts shock from the<br />

vehicle to rotational energy. Upper and<br />

lower frames adjust tires of large and<br />

small vehicles to prevent the steering<br />

system from a functional loss.<br />

Crash Barriers – Wired Up<br />

Wire Rope Barrier Vehicle Restraint<br />

Systems (WRBVRS) are controversial as<br />

they are heavily disliked by the<br />

motorcycling community, who have<br />

nicknamed them ‘cheese cutters’ for the<br />

effect they can have on riders involved in<br />

a crash. In September 2014 the newly<br />

formed A11 Riders Action Group<br />

demonstrated against the fitting of wire<br />

rope systems on the A11 project<br />

between Thetford and Barton Mills in<br />

Norfolk.<br />

The ultimate aim of this group is to<br />

ban the use of Wire Rope Barrier Vehicle<br />

Restraint Systems. The protest saw more<br />

than 200 riders take part with the group<br />

petitioning the Government and in<br />

dialogue with the Highways Agency as<br />

Concrete barriers are<br />

sturdy and absorb a lot<br />

of impact, and so are<br />

often used to protect<br />

road workers<br />

well as MP, MEPS and Ministers.<br />

Various reports from riders’<br />

organisations conclude that there is a<br />

possible fatal interaction with riders in<br />

collision with these “killer” wire ropes.<br />

One of the key criticisms is that they<br />

used multiple exposed rigid posts which<br />

cause considerable injury if a falling<br />

motorbike rider hits them.<br />

Some countries have banned them,<br />

including Norway, Denmark and the<br />

Netherlands, but they are still used in<br />

many other places, including the UK, as<br />

they confirm with European standards.<br />

‘‘<br />

Wire-rope barriers are known<br />

as ‘cheese cutters’ in the<br />

motorbike community... but<br />

it isn’t the wires that are the<br />

threat but the inflexible solid<br />

posts that support them...<br />

‘‘<br />

Unfortunately, these standards were<br />

produced to handle cars and lorries, with<br />

little nor no thought given to motorcycles<br />

and riders.<br />

Dispelling the ‘Cheese Cutter’ Myth<br />

The term ‘cheese cutter’ originated in<br />

New Zealand after 21-year-old Daniel<br />

Evans was fatally injured in 2007 after<br />

colliding with a roadside wire-rope<br />

barrier. News reports suggested the<br />

wire-rope barrier was the reason for his<br />

death. However, the subsequent<br />

investigation found that speed was the<br />

major factor; Daniel was travelling<br />

between 148 – 190km/h when he left<br />

the road, resulting in an impact speed<br />

the equivalent of jumping off a 13-storey<br />

building, the coroner concluded.<br />

It wasn’t the wires that caused the<br />

problem; it was the inflexible nature of<br />

the steel posts used to support the wire.<br />

The posts are designed to bend for<br />

vehicles, but not people. Generally,<br />

motorcyclists will come off their bike and<br />

slide underneath the wire, or into a post.<br />

Professor Raphael Grzebieta of the New<br />

South Wales Transport and Road Safety<br />

(TARS) Research Unit said there was “no<br />

evidence to date... of motorcycle riders<br />

travelling at or below the posted speed<br />

limit, and who has crashed into a<br />

wire-rope barrier, being cut by the<br />

wire-rope in a manner similar to how<br />

cheese is cut with wire…”<br />

So it wasn’t the wires that were the<br />

problem; it was the supporting post. In<br />

Sweden, a survey of more than 600km<br />

of flexible barriers had no record of<br />

motorcycles being ‘sliced’ by the barriers.<br />

However, when the country introduced<br />

flexible support systems for the wires<br />

they saw a 40-50 per cent reduction in<br />

fatalities involving motorcyclists.<br />

Concrete v Steel barriers?<br />

Concrete barriers were first used in the<br />

US, and arrived in Europe in the 1980s<br />

and ‘90s. The steel industry also looked<br />

at creating high performing devices that<br />

were able to offer the same containment<br />

levels of concrete barriers. Since then,<br />

however, roadside safety systems have<br />

not significantly changed, and the debate<br />

of concrete v steel continues.<br />

Steel’s inherent ductility makes it an<br />

excellent material for impact protection<br />

and its ability to absorb energy ensures<br />

that a vehicle does not come to an<br />

abrupt halt. Rather, the steel barrier<br />

system deforms, significantly lowering<br />

the rate of vehicular deceleration.<br />

Continued on page 32<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


Technical briefing<br />

Moving up the gears for<br />

road safety barriers<br />

Continued from page 31<br />

In addition, steel barrier systems are<br />

designed to maintain vehicle direction,<br />

greatly reducing the risk of overturning,<br />

loss of control and potential collision with<br />

other vehicles.<br />

Interestingly, steel crash barriers have<br />

also been found to have a positive<br />

psychological effect on drivers as they<br />

provide a sense of openness. Drivers<br />

subconsciously feel ‘walled in’ by solid<br />

concrete barriers and have a tendency to<br />

steer away from them, encroaching on<br />

other lanes.<br />

They have other advantages over<br />

concrete: they are easy to install,<br />

relatively cheap and the cost of<br />

maintenance is low. Once the steel<br />

barrier has come to the end of its useful<br />

operating life, the material can be<br />

recycled.<br />

Concrete offers greater protection, but<br />

at a price of a lack of deforming. While<br />

concrete generally dissipates the energy<br />

by means of friction effects on the<br />

barriers’ base, steel can rely on internal<br />

deformations that absorb a wider part of<br />

the crash energy.<br />

How drivers respond to barriers is<br />

interesting. A survey by Van der Horst<br />

and de Ridder found that the type of<br />

guardrail had no effect on the speed and<br />

lateral position on motorways, but on<br />

rural roads drivers reduced their speed<br />

and moved away from the guardrail;<br />

however, when they had passed the<br />

guardrail their speed increased to<br />

normal.<br />

Surveys suggest that barriers induce a<br />

speed reduction on rural roads but cause<br />

drivers to move away on motorways,<br />

thus creating new problems.<br />

Overall, the protection of road users<br />

still represent important challenges. But<br />

there are big opportunities available for<br />

improving ‘road edges’, both for passive<br />

‘‘<br />

Concrete generally dissipates<br />

the energy by means of friction<br />

effects on the barriers’ base;<br />

steel can rely on internal<br />

deformations that absorb a<br />

wider part of the crash energy<br />

‘‘<br />

and active safety issues. We need to<br />

consider a new concept of road edges<br />

and roadside devices and systems. These<br />

parts of road infrastructure, in fact, can<br />

be developed in order to assist vehicles<br />

guidance, to avoid some crashes and to<br />

mitigate their consequences.<br />

In particular, it is important to control<br />

the dynamic interaction of restraint<br />

systems with low mass vehicle, in order<br />

to obtain lower injury risk for passengers,<br />

by means of vehicle post-crash<br />

redirection.<br />

One final point. Studies of road traffic<br />

crashes often talk about the ‘Golden<br />

Hour’, the period immediately after a<br />

crash in which it is imperative those<br />

injured received hospital treatment.<br />

Manufacturers of Smart Road Restraint<br />

Systems (SRRS) have developed a<br />

system that integrates primary and<br />

tertiary sensor systems, alerting<br />

emergency services of accidents as they<br />

happen to minimise response time to the<br />

exact location of the incident.<br />

Ironically, then, in the future, the crash<br />

barriers’ major contribution to reducing<br />

fatalities may not be their role in<br />

lessening impacts, but on calling for an<br />

ambulance as soon as the crash<br />

occurs.<br />

32<br />

Extended deadline for examiner roles<br />

The DVSA has extended the job<br />

application deadline for car driving<br />

examiner posts across Great Britain to<br />

give people more time to apply.<br />

This is the third phase of its<br />

recruitment campaign, which aims to<br />

bring in over 300 more car driving test<br />

examiners to reduce test waiting times.<br />

These roles can offer part-time<br />

flexible working hours, including<br />

evening and weekend working<br />

opportunities.<br />

The closing date for applications is<br />

now 11.55pm on Tuesday, <strong>December</strong> 7.<br />

If you are interested in the roles<br />

available, you can find out more about<br />

the role and how to apply on the Civil<br />

Service jobs website, at<br />

https://careers.dft.gov.uk/dvsa-drivingexaminer-roles/<br />

But be quick:<br />

applications close on <strong>December</strong> 7.<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Do you want to share my space?<br />

Janet Stewart<br />

MSA GB Greater London<br />

I am sure that many of the people<br />

reading this will remember Hans<br />

Monderman. He was a famed Dutch<br />

road engineer who died in 2008 and he<br />

was regarded as a ‘traffic philosopher’.<br />

To quote Wikipedia (and one should<br />

always acknowledge one’s sources): ‘He<br />

was recognised for radically challenging<br />

the criteria used to evaluate engineering<br />

solutions for street design. His work<br />

compelled transportation planners and<br />

highway engineers to look afresh at the<br />

way people and technology relate to each<br />

other.’<br />

I note the word ‘compelled’. I<br />

remember when there was quite a lot<br />

being said about “shared space” road<br />

schemes a few years ago and the general<br />

consensus seemed to be that it would<br />

not work over here because we are not<br />

Dutch. I spoke to a Dutch friend of mine<br />

about this last week and she inferred that<br />

we Brits were “not a sufficiently<br />

communal society” and that rather than<br />

thinking about how to solve a problem<br />

together, we are too focused on our<br />

personal interests. For balance, I should<br />

point out that she also threw in a few<br />

negative comments about the Dutch.<br />

So, how far have we got with the idea<br />

of shared space and is it the right way to<br />

Inset, Hans<br />

Monderman, and<br />

(main photo) a<br />

shared space<br />

road project in<br />

his native<br />

Netherlands<br />

David Engwicht pictured in the<br />

middle of one of Europe’s busiest<br />

roads, the Champs-Élysées.<br />

Engwicht, a contemporary of<br />

Hans Monderman, worked less<br />

on road engineering and more on<br />

smoothing out the “mental speed<br />

bumps” which stop us sharing<br />

road space safely<br />

go? The basic concept is a very simple one:<br />

remove as much street furniture, road signs<br />

and lines as possible and let vehicular,<br />

bicycular (a word that ought to exist) and<br />

pedestrian traffic find its own way.<br />

We have all seen pictures of complex<br />

roundabouts where the only guidance<br />

seems to come in differing colours of<br />

tarmac (see the photo below). So<br />

perhaps the fact that we get confused is<br />

intended to slow us all down to a speed<br />

at which we can concentrate, analyse<br />

what’s around us and make altruistic<br />

decisions about how to negotiate the<br />

particular section of road or junction we<br />

are on. (I dare to suggest that that is<br />

exactly what ADIs do every day.)<br />

Actually, we nearly all do this fairly<br />

regularly. How, often are there trolley<br />

crashes in a supermarket? How often to<br />

loaded baggage trolleys run into one<br />

another at airports? So we are used to<br />

manoeuvring around open spaces<br />

without directional guidance by the<br />

simple method of give and take.<br />

I conclude that the limiting factor is<br />

our attitude. We want to be told where<br />

the edges are, which bit of road is ours<br />

and when we can go in front of everyone<br />

else. More and more of us are cycling but<br />

not in the numbers that there are in<br />

Holland. Also, we are far more crowded<br />

together and I think we need to have<br />

enough space for ourselves before we<br />

will feel comfortable about sharing.<br />

However, I would suggest that the<br />

outstanding point overall is that we don’t<br />

like change, don’t want to have to learn<br />

anything new and feel put-upon rather<br />

than wanting to engage with the issue.<br />

COP26 has just finished as I write this.<br />

We should all be moving towards electric<br />

cars and then to autonomous vehicles.<br />

Should we be giving shared road space a<br />

proper chance?<br />

Or would it never work here because<br />

we are not Dutch?<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


Area News<br />

Motorcyclists: they don’t make it easy<br />

for themselves, do they...<br />

Rod Came<br />

MSA GB South East<br />

Motorcyclists are risk-taking thrill<br />

seekers. Why else would anybody want<br />

to sit on something that that will propel<br />

them to the motorway speed limit in less<br />

time than it has taken to read my first<br />

sentence, but takes longer to come to a<br />

halt than the time you have spent<br />

reading up to now? A motorcycle is a<br />

vehicle that can’t stand up by itself, but<br />

can defy the laws of gravity when<br />

mobile.<br />

I have partaken on police courses<br />

which qualified me initially to ride a<br />

Velocette (max. speed 50 mph), then<br />

rising to the heights of death-defying<br />

Norton Commandos (115 mph) and<br />

Moto Guzzis (110 mph). On one<br />

memorable course it rained every day at<br />

some point. Now I am all for communing<br />

with nature but having it splashed all<br />

over my face as though standing on a<br />

beach in a force 10 gale, then being<br />

unable to prevent it gently trickling down<br />

my neck, dropping my body temperature<br />

by 10 degrees, is not my idea of fun.<br />

I have noticed that in order to enhance<br />

the motorcycling experience riders have<br />

introduced a new element of excitement.<br />

In times past some of the more<br />

enlightened highway howlers decided<br />

that to give the only really vulnerable<br />

road users, namely pedestrians, a chance<br />

of survival, they would switch their<br />

headlights on during daylight hours, so<br />

that if they couldn’t be heard they might<br />

be seen before wipe-out.<br />

I recollect that when it was decided<br />

that daytime running lights on four<br />

wheeled vehicles would be a good idea<br />

because on occasion it was difficult to<br />

see them approaching, there was a howl<br />

from some bikers that it would make<br />

them less conspicuous and increase their<br />

already high risk.<br />

It now appears that in some perverse<br />

manner, to increase the excitement of<br />

their otherwise hum-drum lives and to<br />

heighten the motorcycling experience, it<br />

is best to wear black trainers, jeans and<br />

jacket, complimented by a black helmet<br />

and a black bike – and no lights, except<br />

in the dark when it is best to set the<br />

headlight on blinding beam.<br />

When the immediately aforementioned<br />

come to grief having made themselves<br />

invisible and have not been seen among<br />

a plethora of DRLs, who is to blame for<br />

the ensuing collision? The driver, of<br />

course.<br />

DVLA and DVSA: Are we just unlucky to<br />

have both?<br />

Why is that the two government<br />

agencies that ADIs have to deal with in<br />

the course of their business are such a<br />

shambles?<br />

I refer, of course, to the DVLA and the<br />

DVSA.<br />

Both appear to be conspiring together<br />

in unison or separately to make life as<br />

difficult for their customers as they<br />

possibly can, and much of this<br />

inefficiency is affecting the businesses of<br />

A death-defying Norton<br />

Commando... not for the fainthearted<br />

hard-working ADIs. You.<br />

Not only is the DVLA failing to provide<br />

new learner drivers with their first<br />

provisional licence in a timely manner,<br />

they are also causing problems for people<br />

who need to hire a car, especially<br />

abroad, by not renewing driving licences<br />

so that they run for consecutive dates.<br />

This has a serious effect on the<br />

travelling abilities of vocational drivers<br />

who need to drive in the EU and beyond.<br />

That pre-supposes that provisional<br />

licence holders have managed to obtain<br />

a test date in the first place. I have heard<br />

that for category B drivers dates well into<br />

the second half of next year are being<br />

talked about; that is quite ridiculous.<br />

How on earth do DVSA expect ADIs to<br />

be able train their clients to be in a state<br />

of readiness for a test that far ahead, but<br />

they still plead with ADIs to only bring<br />

people for a driving test when they are<br />

ready. It’s impossible!<br />

I have written at length about the<br />

failings of DSA/DVSA over the years<br />

hoping that one day I would be able to<br />

report a vast improvement. Alas, that<br />

time is not to be soon.<br />

Season’s Greetings<br />

In the spirit of goodwill to all men and<br />

women I thank you for reading my<br />

outpourings over the last 12 months and<br />

would like to wish each and every one of<br />

you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and<br />

Prosperous New Year.<br />

Want one? Even if<br />

your pupils can get<br />

an L-test, there no<br />

guarantee the half<br />

of the motoring<br />

Chuckle Brothers,<br />

the DVLA, will<br />

actually get round<br />

to providing them<br />

with a licence...<br />

34<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Des Payne from the<br />

British Horse Society<br />

Mike Newman and<br />

John Galloway from<br />

Speed of Sight<br />

Inspiring talks and great information<br />

at MSA GB’s Western meeting<br />

Arthur Mynott<br />

MSA GB Western<br />

The MSA GB Western conference was<br />

held on Monday, 8th November at Oake<br />

Manor Golf Club, Taunton, Somerset. It<br />

was the first time some delegates had<br />

attended such an event in person for the<br />

past two years and while some were too<br />

busy (as a lot of us are now), and some<br />

are still wary of meeting others in close<br />

proximity, it proved to be a successful<br />

event with 18 members attending.<br />

Our first speaker was Darren Russell,<br />

DVSA enforcement manager, who<br />

explained more about the TIP (Test<br />

Information Programme) and how the<br />

DVSA was using the information<br />

provided by it as a tool for when to call<br />

forward an ADI for a Standards Check.<br />

A video from the DVSA was also<br />

played, explaining it in detail.<br />

This was then followed by a<br />

presentation from Mike Newman and<br />

John Galloway from Speed of Sight. If<br />

you haven’t heard of them before, then<br />

look them up on the internet. Mike<br />

Newman holds the World Record for the<br />

fastest blind man driving a car, at just<br />

under 201 miles per hour! They now run<br />

the charity, Speed of Sight to give a<br />

driving experience to people, young and<br />

old who will never have or never will<br />

have a driving licence. It was a very<br />

moving presentation which bought a<br />

lump in the throat to many in the<br />

audience, me included.<br />

To find out more, check them out at<br />

www.speedofsight.org; it really is<br />

inspiring stuff<br />

After this was a company called Rated<br />

Driving who travelled down from Essex<br />

to explain what they can offer to<br />

instructors looking to expand their<br />

horizons and take on new work.<br />

This was followed by the MSA GB<br />

Western AGM in which the Committee<br />

were again voted in with the exception of<br />

Guy Annan, the area editor, and Mike<br />

Milburn, who is retiring.<br />

Guy was named Editor of the Year at<br />

the National Conference earlier this year<br />

and has been putting articles in<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong> every month for the last two<br />

years. I would like to thank him<br />

personally for all the work he has done in<br />

this role and completely understand why<br />

he is stepping down.<br />

I would also like to thank all the<br />

Western Committee for their help and<br />

backing over the past year. It makes my<br />

job so much easier to know I can always<br />

rely on them.<br />

After a mouth-watering two course<br />

lunch we reconvened and were treated to<br />

a presentation by Des Payne from the<br />

British Horse Society, entitled Safer<br />

Drivers, Safer Riders, Safer Horses. It<br />

was interesting watching the videos of<br />

the horse riders and the close shaves in<br />

which they are sometimes involved. It’s<br />

surprising how ignorant and foolish some<br />

drivers are.<br />

More at www.bhs.org.uk<br />

To finish off the day we were treated to<br />

more current information from our<br />

National Chairman, Peter Harvey, MBE<br />

who had travelled down from Scotland to<br />

grace us with his presence. He filled us<br />

in how the MSA GB are looking to the<br />

future, answered any questions that<br />

Darren was unable to respond to earlier<br />

in the day and generally filled in the<br />

blanks delegates had.<br />

Overall, the day was a great success<br />

and we hope to repeat it again next year.<br />

You can contact Arthur Mynott,<br />

Chairman, MSA GB Western, at<br />

chair.ow@msagb.com<br />

‘‘<br />

They now run the charity, Speed of Sight to give a driving<br />

experience to people, young and old who will never have<br />

or never will have a driving licence. It was a very moving<br />

presentation which bought a lump in the throat to many<br />

in the audience, me included.<br />

‘‘<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


Area News<br />

Someone is going to pay ...<br />

Russell Jones<br />

MSA GB East Midlands<br />

During the last few days of November I<br />

was with an excellent learner driver,<br />

called Sophie, who was making her way<br />

out of Nottingham, following the A60<br />

towards Trent Bridge, when she started<br />

to slow the car. I felt I knew why she was<br />

doing so but I said nothing because I<br />

wanted her to deal with a developing<br />

hazard to our front.<br />

A lone cyclist was peddling along a<br />

double length bus stop which was<br />

located to the left of the nearside lane,<br />

and there was a distinct possibility that<br />

she could have swerved out into our<br />

pathway without looking to see if it was<br />

safe to do so.<br />

Sophie was alert to all the other traffic<br />

around us and obviously noted there was<br />

no possibility of safely moving out into<br />

another lane to avoid a potential<br />

collision. As the cyclist reached the end<br />

of the bus stop, she stopped moving<br />

forwards and was very close to our lane.<br />

At the same time our car came to a<br />

standstill as Sophie applied the footbrake<br />

firmly. The ‘developing hazard’ required<br />

that course of action by Sophie. My foot<br />

had been very close to my dual brake,<br />

but I had not needed to intervene, as<br />

Sophie had the matter under full control.<br />

What happened next astounded me!<br />

There was an annoying blast of a car<br />

horn emanating from the vehicle behind<br />

us. Sophie asked, ‘’Was she doing that to<br />

me?’’ I replied, ‘’Yes’’. She exclaimed,<br />

‘’But she’s a driving instructor’’. I said,<br />

‘’It does seem so’’. Sophie replied, ‘’Why<br />

has she done that, I did the right thing in<br />

stopping because the cyclist almost<br />

came out into my lane and could have<br />

crashed into me?’’. I replied, ‘’Might as<br />

well ask why the moron was born!’’<br />

‘‘<br />

Too many drivers become<br />

36<br />

impatient and don’t see<br />

the developing hazards<br />

ahead of them<br />

‘‘<br />

At that moment, the cyclist moved out<br />

of the bus stop and immediately turned<br />

left via a Toucan Crossing onto the<br />

footpath to continue her journey.<br />

Sophie began to move forward again,<br />

and the moron behind began overtaking<br />

us and, as Sophie said, ‘’She’s giving me<br />

a filthy look’’. I complimented Sophie on<br />

her excellent course of action, patience,<br />

attention to the risk posed and a very<br />

successful outcome to it, with an<br />

appreciative cyclist that she was free to<br />

continue cycling without being harmed.<br />

What else are we contemplating? With<br />

supporting in-car video I am arranging to<br />

visit the local police and submit a written<br />

statement of complaint, with a ‘demand’<br />

that the idiotic ADI be interviewed by a<br />

uniformed police officer, who could issue<br />

a formal caution, for ‘driving without due<br />

care and consideration for other road<br />

users’. That should serve as an<br />

unpleasant early Christmas present!<br />

Am I surprised by the incident? I<br />

shouldn’t be, as I’ve discovered the ADI<br />

concerned learned their trade with a<br />

well-known ‘el cheapo’ training outfit,<br />

which could easily fool someone from the<br />

DVSA to issuing a Green Badge to<br />

somebody totally unsuited for the role.<br />

Some ADIs never learn<br />

Two teenage learners, having ‘endured’<br />

the stench of tobacco smoke on the<br />

clothes of the recent ADI with whom<br />

they were learning, stopped taking<br />

driving lessons. They are now prepared<br />

to wait some considerable time before<br />

resuming their training and have joined<br />

the end of my waiting list. I sympathise<br />

with them, both for having had to<br />

contend with a very selfish individual<br />

who thinks it is ok to mistreat customers,<br />

because ‘mistreatment’ is what it is/was,<br />

and others who are still being exposed to<br />

the same pollution. But their wait for a<br />

full driving licence is also being delayed.<br />

DVSA/DfT should make it mandatory that<br />

smokers are prohibited by law from the<br />

profession.<br />

Boom time<br />

Like all four corners of the country, the<br />

East Midlands driver training business for<br />

initial licence acquisition is booming<br />

beyond most ADIs wildest dreams.<br />

Which begs the question, why are so<br />

many of them incapable of charging<br />

realistic rates for the job?<br />

One reason is as plain as a pikestaff,<br />

which was highlighted in these pages by<br />

Mike Yeomans only last month. First<br />

impressions, guys! First impressions! It<br />

cannot be emphasised enough.<br />

The end is not nigh<br />

‘Elise’, aged 33, started to learn to<br />

drive when she was 17 but gave up<br />

within a few weeks. Now having passed<br />

her test very recently, she has ‘ordered’<br />

me not to retire as her son will need<br />

driving lessons in six years’ time. Having<br />

taught both her parents a long time ago,<br />

I guess I’ll not be going anywhere else<br />

soon, as it would be a dereliction of duty.<br />

So, it has got me thinking. What hourly<br />

rate will I be able to charge in six years’<br />

time? £75? Or more? Well, we must<br />

have ambition, must we not? If we don’t<br />

grab the golden opportunity which the<br />

pandemic has presented, the ADI<br />

profession will have only itself to blame.<br />

Of course, that has been the history for<br />

decades, but I do see a glimmer of hope<br />

that the tide is changing, and good<br />

instructors will prosper, with no room for<br />

deadwood and no-hopers. Life could<br />

even become rather grand for many.<br />

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year<br />

to you all<br />


To comment on this article, or provide<br />

updates from your area, contact<br />

Russell at rjadi@hotmail.com<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

DVSA looks to soften<br />

its image by dropping<br />

the ‘enforcement’ tag<br />

Thanks for the<br />

good wishes<br />

John Lomas<br />

Editor, MSA GB North West<br />

Terry Pearce<br />

MSA GB West Midlands<br />

MSA GB West Midlands held our<br />

training event and AGM by Zoom on<br />

Wednesday, 10th November.<br />

Our speaker from the DVSA was John<br />

Sheridan. One item John mentioned was<br />

the renaming of the agency’s<br />

‘enforcement’ examiners; thankfully they<br />

want to change it. I must admit I had<br />

never understood why examiners who<br />

conduct Standards Check had that title.<br />

The DVSA has been trying to tell us how<br />

approachable they were, as I found out<br />

on my last Standards Check, but then<br />

they changed the name to enforcement<br />

which makes them sound like the enemy!<br />

John also mentioned cancellation<br />

apps and the fact that the DVSA was<br />

trying its best to stop them from working<br />

using an automated BOTS system. I<br />

agree that the system has a lot of<br />

problems including numerous no-shows<br />

for test, but it is clearly a system that<br />

candidates want so why doesn’t the<br />

DVSA run its own cancellation service?<br />

This would enable candidates to be<br />

fairly issued cancellations and the DVSA<br />

could also make money from this extra<br />

service.<br />

As always John was an excellent<br />

speaker. It may be the last West<br />

Midlands event he addresses as he<br />

announced that he will be retiring next<br />

year, and I wish him well for the future.<br />

The West Midlands AGM was held<br />

after John’s presentation. This was led<br />

by our National Chairman, Peter Harvey<br />

MBE. I have previously mentioned that<br />

our area Chairman Geoff Little had<br />

‘‘<br />

The DVSA has been telling<br />

us how approachable they<br />

are, then they change the<br />

name to enforcement!<br />

‘‘<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />

intimated to the committee that, after<br />

holding the position for about 30 years,<br />

he would be standing down this year.<br />

Unfortunately, Geoff has been unwell<br />

recently, but after talking to Peter<br />

Harvey he has agreed to continue as<br />

Chairman for the time being. Ralph<br />

Walton has also agreed to continue.<br />

Carole Hodgkinson and Steve Walker<br />

have stepped down from the committee.<br />

On behalf of the committee, I would like<br />

to thank them for their commitment and<br />

support.<br />

The committee is:<br />

Chairman: Geoff Little<br />

Deputy Chairman and Secretary:<br />

Ralph Walton<br />

Treasurer and Editor: Terry Pearce.<br />

I have recently visited Geoff, and it<br />

was wonderful to see him getting better.<br />

He was very upbeat and was looking<br />

forward to getting back to work.<br />

Peter Harvey then gave us an update<br />

on what is happening in our industry.<br />

Items discussed included the possible<br />

restructuring of the MSA GB, perhaps<br />

into four areas. He also mentioned the<br />

MSA GB website which should be<br />

relaunched soon.<br />

Other items he touched on were<br />

digital pass certificates, digital driving<br />

licence with access to picture, extending<br />

licence expiry from 70 to 75 or 80 years<br />

in the future, and trialling reverse<br />

parking in car parks during L-tests for<br />

those driving test centres which do not<br />

have their own car park.<br />

As always it was riveting listening to<br />

him.<br />

Finally, as this is the last issue of<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong> before Christmas, I’d like to<br />

wish you all an enjoyable Christmas<br />

break and hope you have some muchneeded<br />

rest.<br />


If you have any items of interest, please<br />

let me know. I can be contacted on<br />

07866614573, terry@terrypearce.<br />

co.uk or 20 Brownshill Green Road,<br />

Coventry, CV6 2DT.<br />

First, I would like to thank everyone<br />

for their best wishes, expressed<br />

through various social media<br />

channels, while I was in hospital<br />

recently.<br />

Unfortunately, my illness was driven<br />

by what turned out to be a growth/<br />

tumour affecting my lower digestive<br />

tract. As of now there is no news from<br />

any biopsy, but fingers crossed all will<br />

be fine. The situation hasn’t been<br />

helped by the right eye issues,<br />

however! Thankfully I am currently<br />

recuperating with friends of the family.<br />

I was able to attend the North West’s<br />

Seminar and AGM and as expected<br />

the committee and officers remain the<br />

same with the exception of Ian Morris<br />

who has stepped down due to work<br />

commitments.<br />

We thank Ian for the work he has<br />

done for us in the past.<br />

Future Contributions to <strong>Newslink</strong><br />

If you wish to have your say on any<br />

issue affecting road safety or driver<br />

training and testing, then <strong>Newslink</strong> is<br />

your forum. There is a submission<br />

deadline for time sensitive<br />

announcements, such as meetings/<br />

upcoming events, etc, and it is<br />

normally around 24th/25th of the<br />

preceding month – so November 24<br />

for this <strong>December</strong> issue, for example.<br />

The publication is usually released on<br />

the 1st/2nd of the month.<br />

All articles may be submitted<br />

through the team of area editors, or<br />

the National Editor Colin Lilly<br />

(editor@msagb.com) at any time.<br />

They will be used in the next issue<br />

unless space is restricted because of,<br />

say, breaking news.<br />

If you want guidance on submitting<br />

articles, I can be reached via the<br />

email address below.<br />


To comment on this article, or provide<br />

updates, contact John at<br />

johnstardriving@hotmail.com<br />


‘‘‘‘<br />

Area Focus<br />

It’s time to enlighten drivers<br />

Brian Thomson<br />

MSA GB Scotland<br />

Now, I know that the people who read<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong> will already know all this, and<br />

trust me, I’m not teaching your auntie to<br />

pluck hens (or whatever the saying is),<br />

but through this article and through our<br />

students we can perhaps reach out to<br />

the less well-informed about why<br />

vehicles have lights front and back, and<br />

when to, and when not to, use them.<br />

First, can we talk about ‘day running<br />

lights’. They are the bright LED ones that<br />

come on when you start the car. They<br />

are nice and bright and in most cases are<br />

brighter than normal side lights, but in<br />

lots of cases and car models there are<br />

none to the rear, so when you are driving<br />

around town it’s easy to be seen from the<br />

front but nothing to see approaching<br />

from the rear. I actually met a car in the<br />

evening fog recently with day running<br />

lights only. Because of the thick fog they<br />

would not have been getting a huge<br />

reflection back but when they passed me<br />

they then disappeared into the grey<br />

murky depths, virtually invisible to other<br />

road users.<br />

Speaking of fog, we all know that rear<br />

fog lights are great for letting others know<br />

they are approaching us in poor visibility<br />

but only if it’s required (100m or less<br />

visibility), not because it was foggy in the<br />

morning when you left the house and<br />

you just leave them on even when you’re<br />

now in town or the fog has lifted until<br />

you can see further than a golden eagle<br />

with varifocals.<br />

Now the front lights; we need them so<br />

we can see to drive in the dark and the<br />

function of ‘dip’ and ‘full’ beam gives us<br />

better visibility when no other vehicles<br />

are coming toward us. However, when<br />

‘dip’ is activated the lights are dipped<br />

and turned slightly towards the left (on<br />

right-hand drive cars) which does two<br />

things. First, it lights up the left of the<br />

carriageway or verge and second, it<br />

means the oncoming driver isn’t suffering<br />

from welder’s flash. So why, when<br />

parked on the right side of a road, do<br />

some drivers decide to sit and wait to<br />

move off with dipped lights on, so when<br />

you approach you can’t see if anyone is<br />

either passing the back of their car or a<br />

DRLs are nice and bright and<br />

in most cases are brighter than<br />

side lights, but in most cases<br />

there are none to the rear<br />

passenger is getting into the passenger’s<br />

side? It’s something to be aware of and<br />

inform your students as we teach them<br />

the driving test manoeuvre of right side<br />

stopping during the impending winter<br />

months. Even parking or stopping on the<br />

left, some people seem to be in such a<br />

rush to get into the shop they don’t have<br />

time to switch the main lights off so the<br />

car is reflecting light beams along the<br />

road, giving the impression to oncoming<br />

traffic that something is coming towards<br />

them. If people are in as much of a rush<br />

as that should they have left the house a<br />

little earlier?<br />

Last week a car was parked in a lay-by<br />

(parking place to younger readers) with<br />

dipped lights on, thankfully on their own<br />

side. It can make reading the road ahead<br />

for oncoming drivers that slightly more<br />

confusing than it needs to be (is it a car<br />

overtaking another, some might think?),.<br />

Final point: if this year is the same as<br />

the past few thousand we will no doubt<br />

be getting into our cars when a bit of<br />

overnight frost has had time to obscure<br />

the lights and often the indicators front<br />

and back. A quick skoosh of de-icer or a<br />

scrape makes it easier to let other drivers<br />

know where you are and where you’re<br />

going. Very few cars have a heater fitted<br />

to the lights; always remember, just<br />

because you can see us, we might not<br />

see you.<br />

Stay safe, stay bright and hope some<br />

folks will see the light.<br />

38<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

South Shields ADIs up in arms<br />

over DVSA closure plans<br />

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

A row has broken out in the North East<br />

after the DVSA admitted it was<br />

evaluating whether to close the South<br />

Tyneside driving test centre.<br />

The decision would cause huge<br />

upheaval for the area’s ADIs, with some<br />

claiming that closing the DTC would ‘cost<br />

£2million’ and cause ‘huge disruption’<br />

for both instructors and pupils.<br />

The future of the centre, at the Bede<br />

Industrial Estate in Jarrow, is being<br />

“evaluated”, the DVSA says, though any<br />

effect on learner drivers and instructors<br />

will be minimal, it claims.<br />

However, local ADIs say closing it<br />

would mean the nearest test centres<br />

would be either Gateshead or<br />

Sunderland, some miles away. A<br />

pressure group has launched a social<br />

media campaign against closing Jarrow<br />

DTC, and an online petition has already<br />

attracted over 1,600 signatures.<br />

Local politicians have also stepped in<br />

to the row, with Jarrow MP Kate Osborne<br />

and Fellgate and Hedworth councillor<br />

Geraldine Kilgour saying they oppose any<br />

closure plans.<br />

At the heart of campaigners’ concerns<br />

is that South Tyneside learners will be<br />

forced to travel further for lessons if they<br />

are to get experience on the test centre<br />

routes. As a result they will need to hold<br />

longer lessons to allow for the extra time<br />

spent getting to and from the new<br />

centres, which will lead to higher costs<br />

for pupils, longer waiting lists as fewer<br />

pupils will be able to be taken on by<br />

ADIs and there will be impacts on local<br />

congestion and the environment.<br />

Such is the anger at proposals that the<br />

ADIs have even gone as far as costing<br />

the closure: doing so would take<br />

“£2million out of South Tyneside’s<br />

economy”, they claim.<br />

Local MP Ms Kate Osborne told local<br />

newspaper the South Shields Gazette: “I<br />

strongly oppose any moves to remove<br />

any services from the DVSA Test Centre<br />

on the Bede Industrial Estate in Jarrow.<br />

“This would have a devastating impact<br />

on learners, instructors and examiners.<br />

“I have written to the DVSA and the<br />

Transport Minister about this issue as a<br />

matter of urgency.”<br />

Vikki Holt, speaking for the ADI<br />

pressure group, said: “It’s not going to be<br />

ideal to learn to drive in South Tyneside.<br />

Pupils are going to want to drive where<br />

they’ll be having their test.”<br />

She added: “The Bede Industrial<br />

Estate site is a hugely important part of<br />

the local community and has been for<br />

decades. Generations of families have<br />

passed their driving test there and it<br />

would be a devastating loss to the South<br />

Tyneside and our close-knit local<br />

community if this unnecessary and<br />

wholly unacceptable closure was allowed<br />

to happen.<br />

“The price of lessons is going to go<br />

through the roof, while extra commuting<br />

time will need to be added for each<br />

lesson. None of it makes any sense at<br />

all. We’ve just had COP26, but this is<br />

going to add to CO 2<br />

emissions.”<br />

A DVSA spokesperson said: “We can<br />

confirm that the driving test centre is<br />

being evaluated, as part of a review of<br />

DVSA properties.<br />

“However, we will communicate with<br />

local driving instructors when we have<br />

further information. We have carried out<br />

a review to ensure that service provided<br />

locally continues to be of a high<br />

standard, and the impact of any<br />

proposed closure is minimalised.”<br />

In a letter to campaigners DVSA chief<br />

executive, Loveday Ryder rejected claims<br />

that closing the Jarrow DTC would<br />

impact severely on local ADIs and pupils,<br />

pointing out that “a larger DTC site in<br />

Sunderland is approximately 5/6 miles<br />

away and the examiners will be working<br />

at Sunderland to ensure our local service<br />

delivery continues to maintain a high<br />

standard.”<br />

Stephen Fry and the Queen are our top driving pals<br />

Stephen Fry and The Queen have been<br />

named as the top dream car passengers<br />

in a poll by the AA Driving School, but<br />

half of drivers said they would choose a<br />

friend or family member over a celebrity.<br />

The survey of 14,400 AA members<br />

found 51 per cent dreamt to take a<br />

road-trip with a friend or family rather<br />

than a famous face. The results were<br />

split into two top-ten categories for<br />

famous men or women, as well as<br />

rankings for friends and family car<br />

passengers.<br />

Drivers were given the option to invite<br />

any two passengers for a road trip,<br />

including celebrities from the past or<br />

present as well as friends or relatives.<br />

One in five voted to have their wives<br />

next to them on a drive, but only seven<br />

per cent wanted their husbands.<br />

National treasures Stephen Fry and<br />

Sir David Attenborough appeared top in<br />

the poll for famous men for the second<br />

year; comedian Billy Connolly and<br />

presenter Jeremy Clarkson placed third<br />

and fourth. A new entrant was Freddie<br />

Mercury, who soared into fifth place on<br />

the 30th anniversary of his death.<br />

Comedian Peter Kay was in fourth<br />

place for the second year, one place<br />

above Elvis Presley.<br />

Other popular companions were Bob<br />

Mortimer, Jimi Hendrix and Einstein.<br />

The Queen topped the rankings for<br />

famous women; actress Marilyn Monroe<br />

took second place and Joanna Lumley<br />

was ranked third, above Victoria Wood<br />

and Diana, Princess of Wales.<br />

Tennis star Emma Raducanu, in tenth<br />

place, is the youngest woman in the<br />

dream passenger rankings this year.<br />

Other top-voted contenders included<br />

Dolly Parton, Florence Nightingale, Jane<br />

Austen, Kylie Minogue and Marie Curie.<br />

Robert Cowell, AA Driving School<br />

Interim Managing Director said: “With<br />

COP26 earlier this month it’s no<br />

surprise that the nation’s favourite<br />

environmentalist Sir David Attenborough<br />

has held a place in the top 10 for the<br />

second year running.”<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


Area news<br />

MSA GB is here to help you as we face<br />

a time of changes and challenges<br />

Mike Yeomans<br />

MSA GB North East<br />

Thank you to all the MSA North East<br />

area members who contacted the area<br />

about the B+E issues and the TIP<br />

triggers for the Standards Check. I’m glad<br />

we were able to help many of you and<br />

put some good advice out there, and its<br />

great when we get that feedback from<br />

members.<br />

As most of you will be aware at our<br />

area AGM I was re-elected to serve you<br />

for the coming year. I will be joined on<br />

the committee by:<br />

Vice Chairman Karl Satloka<br />

Chairman Mike Yeomans<br />

Deputy Chairman Andrew Burgess<br />

Secretary Yasmin Ajib<br />

We are all ready to help you with any<br />

issues as we move into interesting times<br />

for the DVSA and the redevelopment and<br />

strengthening of the MSA GB.<br />

It may well be the next time we meet<br />

face-to-face will be in March at the MSA<br />

GB Conference in the Coventry area.<br />

There is more information about this<br />

elsewhere in this issue, and I really hope<br />

that you can find the time to attend.<br />

In the meantime, MSA GB North East<br />

is hoping to hold an online meeting after<br />

Christmas; look out for the email about<br />

that.<br />

If you have any issues you would like<br />

us to highlight in future issues of<br />

<strong>Newslink</strong>, let me know. As an area we<br />

are lucky to have some good test centre<br />

staff who are happy to help and work<br />

with ADIs, and our problems are often<br />

less than in other areas, but do let me<br />

know if you are having any issues with<br />

which we can help.<br />

In particular, members have raised the<br />

issue of the Standards Check. Guidance<br />

is available and we hope to hold at least<br />

a couple of sessions run as morning or<br />

afternoon groups in our area. The MSA<br />

GB team is happy to travel to you to set<br />

up a session (small groups of 6 to 12<br />

seem to work best).<br />

I’m writing this as the first cold spell of<br />

the winter causes problems. It is a<br />

reminder that telling students about<br />

preparation for winter driving should be a<br />

priority.<br />

Some tips and guidance suggested for<br />

you students and their families. You can<br />

just give them the information below as a<br />

cue card for easy memorising.<br />

Car checks - get your car ready for the<br />

severe weather<br />

Here are a few checks that you can do,<br />

to make sure your car is ready for severe<br />

weather:<br />

• Keep the lights, windows and<br />

mirrors clean and free from ice and snow<br />

• Make sure wipers and lights are in<br />

good working order<br />

• Add anti-freeze to the radiator and<br />

winter additive to the windscreen washer<br />

bottles<br />

• Check that tyres have plenty of tread<br />

depth and are maintained at the correct<br />

pressure<br />

• Pack a snow/ice scraper, de-icer,<br />

snow shovel, hat, gloves, boots, a torch,<br />

bottle of water and a first aid kit. For<br />

longer journeys, always take blankets, a<br />

snack and a flask of warm drink.<br />

• Wash the car frequently to get rid of<br />

the salt and dirt that builds up over the<br />

winter.<br />

• Always keep a full tank of fuel - you<br />

never know when you might get delayed.<br />

• Don’t use water to defrost the<br />

windows.<br />

In addition, for severe weather<br />

• Check the local and national weather<br />

forecasts and listen to local and national<br />

radio for travel information<br />

• Tell someone at your destination<br />

what time you expect to arrive<br />

• If the outlook is very poor and you<br />

have to travel, take warm clothes, food,<br />

boots, a torch and a spade if snow is<br />

likely<br />

• Please take extra care and refer to<br />

the Highways Agency for advice on traffic<br />

disruption.<br />


Take care when travelling behind winter service vehicles. Drivers of<br />

vehicles such as salt spreaders and snowploughs take all reasonable<br />

precautions to protect the safety of other road users.<br />

Salting vehicles travel at speeds of up to 40mph spreading salt<br />

across all lanes of the carriageway. Drivers are advised to maintain a<br />

safe distance behind them. Do not attempt to overtake.<br />

Snow ploughing can throw up irregular amounts of snow that may<br />

be a hazard to vehicles. Drivers are advised to maintain a safe<br />

distance behind vehicles and not to attempt to overtake.<br />

40<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

Driving tips<br />

Keep yourself and others safe, by:<br />

• Slowing down<br />

• Keeping a greater distance between<br />

yourself and the vehicle in front, (increase<br />

the two second rule to 4 seconds or even<br />

more)<br />

• Setting aside extra time to complete<br />

your journey<br />

• Keep your mobile fully charged.<br />

• On colder days be particularly careful<br />

on tree lined roads – the trees prevent the<br />

sun’s warmth from reaching the road,<br />

which may still be icy when all around<br />

has thawed.<br />

Driving in the snow<br />

• Use the highest gear possible to avoid<br />

wheel spin<br />

• Drive slowly, allowing extra room to<br />

slow down and stop<br />

• Manoeuvre gently, avoiding harsh<br />

braking and acceleration<br />

• To brake on ice or snow without<br />

locking your wheels, get into a low gear<br />

earlier than normal, allow your speed to<br />

fall and use the brake pedal gently<br />

• If you start to skid, ease off the<br />

accelerator but do not brake suddenly<br />

• From the DVSA: ‘Different vehicles<br />

will react differently when there’s a risk of<br />

skidding, depending on whether they’re<br />

front- or rear-wheel drive, and on the<br />

systems fitted to the car, such as anti-lock<br />

brakes (ABS) or electronic stability control/<br />

programme (ESC or ESP). Check the<br />

vehicle handbook to find out how these<br />

will affect the risk of skidding.’<br />

Pupils should also be encouraged to<br />

re-read the Highway Code, which has<br />

some great advice on driving in icy or<br />

otherwise poor weather. From its pages,<br />

Rule 230 and 231 are particularly useful.<br />

Should horse riders take test<br />

before going out on the road?<br />

Rod Came<br />

MSA GB South East<br />

At the recent MSA GB South East CPD<br />

training event I enjoyed, for the third<br />

time, a presentation by Alan Hiscox on<br />

behalf of the British Horse Society.<br />

Needless to say he is there to<br />

promote the views of horse riders<br />

when they venture out on to the roads<br />

we all use, so he shows a series of<br />

situations where drivers of vehicles<br />

large and small have endangered horse<br />

riders, along with some startling<br />

statistics.<br />

Most of what he portrayed is<br />

available to be seen on the BHS<br />

website, if you want to take a look.<br />

To be fair, he does point out what<br />

riders should do to reduce the risk to<br />

themselves and their mounts without<br />

being critical of them, as does the<br />

website.<br />

Nevertheless, there is nothing to<br />

stop a small child from sitting on top<br />

of a horse weighing three-quarters of a<br />

ton and riding along a busy road. If an<br />

under-16 wants to ride a motorcycle<br />

they have to transport the machine to<br />

the private land where they are to ride,<br />

yet horse riders face no such<br />

restriction.<br />

As Alan pointed out in a horse/rider/<br />

driver situation there are three brains<br />

working, not necessarily in conjunction<br />

with each other. The horse will do<br />

what it wants to do, the rider is often<br />

not able to control the horse in such<br />

circumstances, and the driver has no<br />

idea what the horse/rider combination<br />

is likely to do next, but the<br />

responsibility for the safety of all three<br />

rests solely on the shoulders of the<br />

driver.<br />

If you were to design a road system<br />

from scratch, let’s call it a motorway,<br />

vulnerable road users such as<br />

pedestrians, horses and slow vehicles<br />

would not be able to use it.<br />

It has been long established that<br />

horse riders can use the public<br />

highway in most of its forms and there<br />

is no going back on that.<br />

All other road users, other than<br />

pedestrians, cyclists and the new<br />

hazard, electric scooter riders, have to<br />

undergo some form of assessment and<br />

licensing. Therefore, is it too much to<br />

ask for horse riders, for their own<br />

benefit, to be subject to a similar<br />

regime?<br />

The Queen, the Patron of the BHS,<br />

would, of course, be exempt.<br />


To comment on this article, or provide<br />

updates from your area, contact<br />

Rod at camedt@onetel.com<br />

Finally, if you get into trouble<br />

Do not use a mobile phone while<br />

driving. Stop somewhere safe or ask a<br />

passenger to make the call. On a<br />

motorway use a roadside emergency<br />

telephone because the breakdown/<br />

emergency services will be able to locate<br />

you easily.<br />

If you have to use a mobile phone,<br />

make sure you know your location from<br />

the numbers on the marker posts on the<br />

side of the hard shoulder.<br />

Abandoned vehicles can hold up rescue<br />

vehicles and snowploughs.<br />

To ensure that the road is cleared as<br />

quickly as possible, stay with your vehicle<br />

until help arrives.<br />

If you have to leave your vehicle to get<br />

help, make sure other drivers can see you.<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />


Q&A with.... Steven Porter<br />

Practice gets results on your<br />

golf – and for being an ADI<br />

New MSA GB Scotland<br />

Chairman Steven Porter lifts<br />

the lid on his life as an ADI...<br />

and his love for Glasgow<br />

Rangers FC<br />

When did you become an ADI, and<br />

what made you enter the profession?<br />

2008. I entered the ADI ranks as I<br />

wanted to help improve driving<br />

standards. Over the years I’ve been in a<br />

number of crashes, some as a passenger,<br />

including on a bus and in a car, and<br />

some driving. I must have had a target<br />

on me! I was once hit while stationary<br />

with no engine on, then again with<br />

engine on waiting to turn at lights and<br />

also hit from the side when someone ran<br />

a red light when I was coming off the<br />

motorway.<br />

Among the strangest was on the<br />

Kingston Bridge in Glasgow on a lovely<br />

Sunday afternoon. A woman was driving<br />

alongside my car when she just drifted<br />

towards me. I caught sight of her out of<br />

the corner of my eye so I hit the horn<br />

and she responded by casually drifting<br />

back to her proper position, but within<br />

five seconds she’d done it again, but this<br />

time her door mirror hit my door mirror<br />

with a crunch.<br />

She just casually drifted back to her<br />

land and off she went. I’d had enough;<br />

let’s make a difference.<br />

What’s the best bit about the job?<br />

When you get someone through their<br />

test who has put in the hard graft and<br />

needs the licence for a very good reason,<br />

like their son is disabled or they need it<br />

Steven Porter:<br />

His favourite<br />

things are<br />

Rangers, rock<br />

band Queen,<br />

his low golf<br />

handicap and<br />

iZettle...<br />

for a career. The look on their face the<br />

day they pass is well worth everything<br />

else that comes with the job.<br />

And the worst?<br />

It used to be those who come out, do<br />

their lesson and at the end say “oh, I<br />

forgot to go to the bank”. Thankfully, all<br />

sorted now though with my little iZettle<br />

card reader.<br />

42<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

What’s the best piece of training advice<br />

you were ever given?<br />

Everybody out there are nutters; you<br />

have to look out for them and stay clear.<br />

What one piece of kit, other than your<br />

car and phone, could you not do<br />

without?<br />

My MacBook or maybe my iZettle<br />

card reader for all those that don’t quite<br />

tell the truth.<br />

What needs fixing most urgently in<br />

driving generally?<br />

The roads, you’ve seen the pot holes<br />

up here? Other than that, I’d say other<br />

drivers’ OAP (Observations, Anticipation<br />

& Planning); it’s something I find myself<br />

constantly going over when out with<br />

fleet clients. That or the extended<br />

version, COAST (Concentration,<br />

observation, anticipation, space and<br />

time) but I’m sure you all know what<br />

they mean.<br />

What should the DVSA focus on?<br />

Getting the L-test waiting list down to<br />

six weeks. It’s up to April in Scotland at<br />

the moment; I’m sure it’s similar where<br />

you are. I’d also like to see more<br />

emphasis on stopping the school of<br />

mum and dad taking pupils up without<br />

any professional training.<br />

What’s the next big thing that’s going<br />

to transform driver training/testing?<br />

Graduated licences with a minimum<br />

of 40hrs tuition ... we can dream, can’t<br />

we?<br />

Electric cars – yes or no? And why?<br />

Yes. It’s the way it’s going to go<br />

whether we like it or not so we need to<br />

diversify our teaching and move with the<br />

times.<br />

How can we improve driver testing/<br />

training in one move?<br />

Make 40-45hrs of lessons<br />

compulsory. The DVSA say it takes that<br />

amount of time to get through your test,<br />

so why not make it compulsory if we all<br />

‘‘<br />

I grew up scared of the<br />

Bohemian Rhapsody video...<br />

the image of the four band<br />

members’ heads was creepy to<br />

me when I was young...<br />

‘‘<br />

NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />

‘‘<br />

Make 40-45hrs of lessons<br />

compulsory. The DVSA say it<br />

takes that amount of time to<br />

get through your test, so why<br />

not make it compulsory?<br />

‘‘<br />

know that’s what’s needed?<br />

Who/what inspires you, drives you on?<br />

My wife and children as they are why<br />

I do what I do. I want my children to<br />

recognise you don’t have to accept what<br />

you’ve got; aspire to be better, no matter<br />

how good you think you are.<br />

What keeps you awake at night?<br />

My kids are now at that age where<br />

they have discovered something called a<br />

pub where you can purchase alcohol<br />

and meet girls :0(<br />

I’m now definitely Taxi dad!<br />

No one is the finished article. What do<br />

you do to keep on top of the game?<br />

My golf is the best it’s been since that<br />

thing called lockdown happened; lowest<br />

handicap ever and all down to practice<br />

and having time to work on your game.<br />

It’s the same with our industry:<br />

practice and work at being better; don’t<br />

settle for what you have.<br />

What’s the daftest /most dangerous<br />

thing that’s ever happened to you while<br />

teaching?<br />

Two things. I once had a pupil tell me<br />

she couldn’t understand the purpose of the<br />

van in front of us. On the back of the van<br />

was written “This van is used for recording<br />

for the purpose of crime prevention”. I<br />

couldn’t get it either :0)<br />

I had another pupil who, after giving her<br />

what I thought was a very good briefing on<br />

roundabouts, covering everything, or so I<br />

thought, came to her second roundabout<br />

and, when asked to turn right (3rd exit),<br />

she decided it would be right 1st exit.<br />

It was not like she came from a different<br />

country and after being alive for 19 years<br />

and being driven around, you would have<br />

thought that she had seen which way<br />

everyone went on a roundabout. Apparently<br />

not, silly me.<br />

When or where are you happiest?<br />

Ibrox Park watching the famous Glasgow<br />

Rangers FC.<br />

If you had to pick one book/film/album<br />

that inspires, entertains or moves you,<br />

what would it be?<br />

One of the best films I’ve seen recently<br />

was Bohemian Rhapsody, all about the<br />

greatest showman on earth Freddy<br />

Mercury. I grew up as a young kid scared of<br />

Queen because of that song’ video, the<br />

image of the four band members’ heads<br />

was creepy to me when I was young – as<br />

was the song!<br />

As I’ve got older I’ve grown to love Queen<br />

and think Freddy Mercury was an<br />

inspiration and the kind of personality I<br />

think we have seen the last of, sadly.<br />


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44 NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong>

For all the latest news, see www.msagb.com<br />

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Congratulations on passing your<br />

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There’s an exciting career<br />

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It’s one that is alive with<br />

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But for all the excitement,<br />

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DVSA? If the worst happens, who can<br />

you turn to for help, advice and to fight<br />

your corner?<br />

The answer is the Motor Schools<br />

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We represent your interests and your<br />

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NEWSLINK n DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong> 45

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