Avoiding learner drivers is like having to play dodgems

Wave 105 radio presenter

Thursday, 3rd March 2016, 6:01 am
Rick says learner drivers need to experience different routes

I have no problem whatsoever with learner drivers. We’ve all been there at some point, nervously trying to work out what the bite point of the clutch is whilst avoiding kerbs and buses.

What I do have a problem with is the amount of them within the narrow confines of the village.

This week, heading for the Gosport ferry, I was stuck behind four! When one turned left, another joined the road.

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What also seems to be happening is that, in their haste to get people passed, instructors are putting drivers on to the highways long before they’re ready.

I remember my first driving lesson. It was on a deserted road.

I was able to practise getting the car to move off and go in a straight line. I did this until my instructor thought I was sufficiently capable, then we hit the road.

But now I’m stuck behind some learners who are swerving all over the road or driving very slowly, then speeding up when the instructor tells them it’s a 30 zone.

It’s like playing dodgems in the village, with learners stopped in the middle of the road about to attempt reverse parking manoeuvres.

With the test centre now in Lee-on-the-Solent, it seems to me that the main examiners’ route is through Alverstoke. Hence the amount of learners that descend on us each day.

Why not try Stubbington? Residents in their Honda Jazzes and Nissan Micras rarely get over 20mph anyway, so you’d never inconvenience them.

My worry is that there will be a bad accident one day. The roads are narrow enough and a lot of white van delivery drivers do treat Alverstoke like the Monaco grand prix circuit at the best of times.

I’m not saying learner drivers are not welcome in the village, not at all. I’m just saying not all of them at once!

A friend recently passed at the 12th attempt after learning on the same old roads. Why? A new instructor took him to different areas each week to build up experience. Variety is the spice of life!