Gosport driving instructor fighting to make the roads safer across major test routes

A DRIVING instructor is working hard to make the road markings and signs clearer for learner drivers and the wider community.

By Sophie Murray
Monday, 14th February 2022, 3:46 pm

Simon Stevenson from Gosport runs Life Skills Driving School and has been a driving instructor since 2017. Despite driving for 37 years, Simon said that the inaccurate road markings and obstructed road signs only became evident once he started teaching.

He said: ‘It really didn’t highlight to me how bad the UK roads were until I became an instructor. One of the biggest factors that infuriated me was where we have our driving test centre in Lee-on-Solent, there are so many issues regarding road signs and markings that need attention.’

After reporting various issues to the Hampshire Highways online portal to no avail, Simon decided to take matters into his own hands.

He said: ‘I just got to the point where I’d had enough and I had to do something about it from a road safety point of view.

‘For pupils taking their driving tests, it was really confusing. We're talking about young drivers or new drivers who are trying to concentrate as much as they can but when they’re given conflicting information or no information, that’s extremely hard.

‘I looked into some DVSA statistics and it became very apparent that two of the top 10 test fails over the last 16 years were to do either with road markings or to do with road signs.

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Simon Stevenson, owner of Life Skills Driving School. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘I spent an hour driving around with my wife taking various photos, I then emailed 34 different councillors within the borough plus the local MP with an 11 page document highlighting many of the issues in black and white.’

Councillor Stephen Fillpot arranged a meeting with Simon and Simon said a few weeks after the meeting, 90% of the things he highlighted had been changed.

However, he emphasised that it is an ongoing process that he is still working on week by week and that there is still a lot of work to do.

He said: ‘Local people who have driven these roads for years have become complacent because of local knowledge, but what about the people that don’t live here and know the roads like we do?

An extract from Simon's document, highlighting poor road markings on the Brockhurst roundabout.

‘It’s as if Gosport has been forgotten about and I think it needs more attention, not only for the sake of new drivers but for everyone’s safety.’

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An example of an unclear road marking at the Brockhurst roundabout.
Simon Stevenson, owner of Life Skills Driving School. Picture: Habibur Rahman
An extract from Simon's document, highlighting obstructed road signage.
An example of one of the changes that Simon has managed to make so far.