A LARGS driving instructor says she is delighted to be back on the road – but has warned of a frustrating few month as local learners face a backlog of tests.
Maggie Smith returned to work at the end of August and was relieved to get the green light after more than five months with the handbrake on.
She says there was concern from her students that they would be disadvantaged by lockdown, but after a few miles they were quickly back in top gear.
Maggie explained: “I was concerned that the extended break from driving lessons would have a big effect on those who were stopped from learning to drive.
Driving lessons resumed last month after the Scottish Government announced a phased return from lockdown.
If you are thinking of going back to or starting driving lessons we’ve put together some things to keep in mind.
You must wear a face covering during your lesson. The covering must cover both your nose and mouth and your driving instructor will also be required to wear one. Face coverings are mandatory and if you fail to wear one you may forfeit the lesson and not be able to go.
The windows in the car will be down during the lesson as much as possible to increase ventilation within the car. For that reason it is important to make sure you are dressed appropriately, take a jumper to keep warm and a waterproof jacket in case of rain.
A driving instructor has branded the Government a ‘disgrace’ after they took the decision to close test centre waiting rooms.
Charles Royle, 54, says he and his colleagues have been forced to stand outside for up to an hour at a time after the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) took the decision to shut indoor facilities.
The waiting rooms have been closed because they are not deemed ‘Covid-secure.’
Mr Royle, who teaches across north Manchester, says he has had to wait outside in all weather conditions whilst students to complete their tests.
Driving instructors are being forced to bring chairs to test centres as they are not being allowed inside while their students are having tests, it has been claimed.
Restrictions in place due to Covid-19 mean instructors must wait outside while pupils complete their driving tests.
Kate Fennelly of Feet 2 Wheels Driving School said instructors had to “fight” with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to be allowed to use the bathroom at the test centres while they wait.
Speaking from Watnall test centre, the 49 year old said: “Driving instructors are sat around on chairs or salt boxes for up to 90 minutes for pupils to complete their tests.
A driving instructor from Cornwall says issues with booking driving tests in Cornwall are causing further expense and stress for her students.
Stacy Newby of Newby Drivers Cornish School of Motoring said the situation is ‘pretty ridiculous’.
The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) test centre in Penzance has been closed for the last few months due to a ‘significant roof issue’, which means students are having to take their tests in Camborne.
Meanwhile, the DVSA says it’s experiencing ‘unprecedented demand for tests’ with students having to wait until Monday, September 14 when more tests will be made available.