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Latest motoring news in your area and developements in learning to drive

Electric cars could deter learners from earning ‘manual’ driving licences

As many as 61% of 17-24 year olds plan to apply for an automatic-only driving licence, according to a survey from road safety charity IAM Roadsmart.

With the looming 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and a downturn in vehicles with a manual gearbox being sold, the days of traditional transmission appear numbered.

Over four-fifths (81%) of the young drivers questioned said they’re ‘very likely’ to purchase an electric vehicle (EV) as their next car. Only 5% said they are unlikely to buy an EV.

According to the RAC’s Report on Motoring 2021, 10% of drivers intend to choose an EV as their next vehicle. This proportion has increased fivefold since 2017.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM Roadsmart said: “What these figures demonstrate is that the traditional split between manual and automatic driving licences is becoming less and less relevant to modern motoring.”

Digital driving licences will be available by 2024, according to Grant Shapps.

The Transport Secretary confirmed plans to move provisional cards online in a tweet where he outlined a ‘fairer, greener & more efficient’ transport system thanks to ‘exciting new post-EU freedoms’.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is aiming to launch an app that will also spell the end for paper test certificates and bring MOTS into the modern age with digital certificates and booking systems.

Mr Shapps said: "This is a golden chance to shake off the bureaucracy, invest in our future, and realise our potential with world-leading transport that benefits all of Britain."

If successful, full driving licences could be digitised too, although plastic licences will still be available to those who require them.

The DVLA, who currently issure more than 10 million licences a year and hold records for more than 49 million driving licence holders, discussed the move in their strategic plan for 2021-2024:

“We will introduce a digital driving licence for provisional drivers and also start to build a customer account facility. This will ultimately give our customers personalised, easy and secure access to a range of services and allow them more choice in how they transact with us.”

The DVLA's plan offers some reassurance that paper and plastic documents will not be completely phased out: “Our intention is to build services that are digital by desire – with digital services that are so good that people will choose to use them, making their transactions faster, simpler and with a lower carbon footprint.

“However, we will not be an exclusively digital organisation and will ensure we continue to operate as a multi-channel organisation, so that those who cannot go online can still transact with us in other ways.”

Sutton Council is deploying sensors to help monitor the usage of disabled parking spaces around Sutton Town Centre.

The Council, together with UK-based provider IoT Solutions Group, will be trialling an Internet of Things solution (IoT) as part of the South London Partnership’s InnOvaTe Project to accurately report on the usage of disabled parking spaces around the town centre. The move will help to give disabled bay users a voice as part of any future development or road change plans in Sutton Town Centre.

While making roads in the borough more pleasant for walking and cycling is a priority for the Council, it is also vitally important to ensure that appropriate provision of disabled parking is continued. The Council is often asked to consider the relocation of disabled bays when new developments or road changes are proposed. 

It has been difficult historically though to collect accurate information on the bays’ usage as evidence may be anecdotal or CCTV footage unclear. 

The sensors will be placed in disabled parking spots and will provide vital data on the usage, frequency and duration for which the space is used. This will help the Council make informed decisions during development or consultations and ensure disabled bay users can still park in the town centre when any road layout changes to improve the pedestrian experience are proposed. 

Data collected from the sensors will be anonymous and in compliance with all GDPR policies and the project team’s Transparency Principles.

Fewer than half of motorists surveyed by DVLA know they must be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away in order to drive safely.

Now, with more drivers set to resume their daily commutes, the agency is calling on drivers to ensure they take the 20-metre number plate test.

The agency has found that just 48.5% of drivers it surveyed were aware of this essential eyesight requirement. Now, with more drivers set to resume their daily commutes, undertake the school run, and traffic returning to pre-pandemic levels, the agency is calling on drivers to ensure they take the 20-metre number plate test.

The test aims to ensure that all drivers meet the minimum eyesight standards before getting behind the wheel.

The call to action is part of the agency’s Number Plate Test campaign, which aims to remind drivers that the test is an easy way to regularly self-check their eyesight. It also reminds them they should have their eyes tested at least every two years or as soon as they notice any changes to their vision.

The number plate test is quick and easy to take, and DVLA is offering examples of how to measure the 20-metre distance, which it says is the same as five car lengths, or the width of eight parking bays.

The agency is urging anyone with concerns about their eyesight to visit their optician for an eye test.

Changes to the Highway Code: rules on using motorways

If you’re learning to drive or ride, you’ll no doubt be studying the Highway Code to learn the rules of the road.  

From today there are changes to the rules on using motorways, so it’s as important as ever that you “check the Code” – and continue to do so on a regular basis. 

For life, not just learners

The rules in the Highway Code are updated when there are changes in the law.   

New rules may be added while you are preparing for your practical test, or after you have passed. There have been 15 changes since 2015 alone. 

That means it’s really important to stay up to date, whether you’ve only had one lesson or held a licence for years. 

Most recent changes 

The changes made as of today refer to guidance on smart motorways. A total of 33 existing rules will be amended and two new rules introduced, with a number of amendments made to the additional information annexes. 

These include:  

  • clearer advice on where to stop in an emergency 
  • the importance of not driving in a lane closed by a Red X 
  • the use of variable speed limits to manage congestion 
  • updated guidance on key factors that contribute to safety-related incidents, including unroadworthy vehicles, tailgating and driving in roadworks.

The Highway Code on GOV.UK allows you to: 

  • search for key words and phrases within The Highway Code 
  • quickly move between related rules 
  • follow links to the original laws that the rules are based on 
  • print sections more easily 

There’s also an official Highway Code app.

All new homes and offices built in England from 2022 will include chargepoints for electric vehicles (EVs), in a world first.

The new chargers will be ‘smart’ devices capable of communicating with cars to decide the best time to top up batteries and prevent the electricity network from being overloaded.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean announced the move amid growing fears over a shortage of plug-in points.

Earlier this year, the Competition and Markets Authority said more than 250,000 chargepoints will be needed by 2030. 1 According to Zap-Map, as of 15 Sept there are only 25,713.

Currently, 500 plug-in points are installed every month in the UK – falling below the 700 a day recommended by motoring experts.

The Government hopes its groundbreaking legislation will address the need for more chargepoints before the 2030 ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars.

Although it’s much cheaper to charge electric cars at a domestic plug-in point, the new plans are designed to give some of the 40% of UK households without off-street parking, access to chargers at their workplace.

An initial consultation for compulsory domestic charge points suffered from serious delays two years ago because of the coronavirus outbreak and the general election.

In related EV charging news, all home chargepoints installed after 30 May 2022, will need to be connected to the internet to allow them to be switched off during peak times.

EV chargers are set to be a familiar sight all across the country after the first all-electric car charging forecourt opened in Essex in December last year. Gridserve, which opened the site in Braintree, plans to build 100 more charging stations in the UK

Car drivers will be able to tow a trailer without a taking a test - 10/09/2021

Following the recent government consultation, car drivers will be able to tow a trailer without a taking a test 🚗 

This change will mean drivers who passed their car test after 1 January 1997 will be able to tow a trailer up to 3,500kg when the law is changed.  

This will be as soon as possible.

✔️Drivers who passed their car test before 1 January 1997 can already tow without a car and trailer test, so are not affected by this change. 

This will allow the DVSA to offer more lorry tests 🚛 

London to install 50 new smart cameras to 'tackle danger hotspots' in the capital

LONDON will install new smart cameras across the capital to pick up on dangerous driving offences.

The 50 new cameras will enforce banned turns and bus lane violations according to TfL. The new technology will also issue penalties for issues around yellow box junctions and weight restrictions.

The new cameras can be moved around the network to be installed where they are most needed.

TfL said the new technology can also be adapted for each new location to ensure the highest amount of road safety.

It also means the cameras can be moved around to target non-compliance hotspots.

Cameras could also be removed from areas where enforcement activity has been successful and compliance is higher.

A contract has been awarded to P Ducker Systems (PDS) to build the new enforcement cameras.

The new tools are expected to be finished in the next few months and finally launched in the autumn.

TfL said they will monitor how successful the cameras are at cutting road danger and reducing congestion on the roads.

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner said enforcement of road rules was “absolutely vital”.

Drones to hunt down potholes in multi-million-pound scheme

Drones and 3D printing technology being explored to fix potholes while councils receive funding to improve traffic light systems to cut congestion and emissions.

A multimillion-pound scheme to improve traffic signals and a commitment to explore how new technology – such as drones and 3D printing – could be used to find and fix potholes are part of a raft of measures announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today (13 August 2021).

The package will see councils across England receive a share of £15 million in government funding to improve their traffic light systems to cut congestion, boost safety and reduce journey times and emissions – a commitment set out in the recently announced Transport decarbonisation plan.

In addition to announcing today’s funding, the government has also published the findings from a new initiative called the Digital Intelligence Brokerage (DIB), which aims to encourage more work with small and medium enterprises outside of the transport sector and to speed up research into new and innovative ways to fix potholes.

The DIB has already made waves in this area, identifying:

Graphite nanoparticles in asphalt to reduce surface cracks

The use of bio-bitumen materials to create environmentally friendly road surfaces which contribute to the decarbonisation of highways maintenance

Automated repair operations to minimise risk to road maintenance workers

This work supports wider government commitments to use advanced technology, such as drones to spot defects in roads and 3D printing to repair cracks.

This all comes as the government continues its drive to level up the country’s transport network and build back better from the pandemic.

Stricter penalties for mobile phone use

The government has closed a loophole that meant people could get away with taking photos or videos while driving.

So, in 2021, you could get a £200 fine and six points on your licence if you’re caught holding your phone or sat nav while you’re driving.

‘Holding’ also means scrolling through a playlist, playing a game or using social media.

According to road safety charity Brake, using a phone behind the wheel makes you four times more likely to have a crash.

And your reaction times when using even just a hands-free device are 30% slower than your reaction times at the drink-drive limit.

That’s why the law was changed a few years ago.

Previously, a ‘legal loophole’ meant some drivers escaped prosecution when they used their phones to take photos or videos – rather than make calls or send texts – while driving.

But this loophole has been closed, so the law now covers all hand-held usage.

Pedestrians and cyclists given right of way in new Highway Code

Road users on foot and bike are to gain greater priority over cars at junctions and crossings due to new Highway Code changes, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

Currently, drivers are only required to give way when someone steps onto a crossing, while pedestrians are told they shouldn’t start to cross until vehicles on the road have stopped.

The new rules – due to be published this autumn – will strengthen right of way for pedestrians on pavements and when crossing, or waiting to cross, the road.

The updated Code will also give cyclists priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead, as well as issue guidance on safe passing distances and speeds.

Plus, a “hierarchy of road users” will ensure the more high-risk modes of transport have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they pose to others.

Changes to green cards and travel to the EU

A green card is a way to prove your car is insured to drive abroad.

This has been a hotly debated topic. When the UK first left the EU, it was mandatory to have a green card to drive in the EU. This has now been scrapped, and UK residents don’t need a green card to travel to the EU.

The decision has been welcomed by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Huw Evans, the Director General of the ABI said: "This is excellent news. We have long campaigned for the UK to be part of the Green Card Free Circulation Zone so we warmly welcome the decision by the European Commission today.

“The Commission has taken a pragmatic approach on the matter. UK drivers will no longer need to apply for a green card through their insurer which will help reduce bureaucracy for drivers and road hauliers travelling between the UK and EU.

“It will be especially welcomed by motorists in Northern Ireland driving across the border to the Republic of Ireland.”

There are still documents you need to take though. If you're taking your own car and your trip is less than 12 months, you'll need to take your V5C logbook with you.

If it's a car you've hired or leased, you'll need to take VE103 form which proves you can take it out of the UK.

For more information on this visit GOV.UK.

E10 fuel proposed for this year

A new cleaner petrol known as E10 could be rolled out in 2021.

The fuel aims to reduce carbon emissions. It's estimated that using E10 is the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road.

Almost all cars, 95% in fact, can use the new E10 fuel. But some vehicles made before 2011 could be affected. To check if your vehicle can use E10, use the GOV.UK vehicle checker tool .

Trial to increase the number of driving tests starts at 30 test centres

30 driving test centres across England, Wales and Scotland will be trialling a new testing programme to increase the number of tests driving examiners carry out per day from Tuesday 27 July.

The trial will run up to and including Friday 30 July.

    If the trial is successful, the new programme could increase capacity across the national network and help reduce waiting times.

    Low Emission Zones postponed until 2021

    Low Emission Zones are areas of a city that charge vehicles with high emissions to enter. They’re usually found in areas that have high levels of pollution.

    Some Low Emission Zones were planned for 2020 but were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s the latest:

    Birmingham’s Low Emission Zone is now active.

    You can enter the zone with no charge if your vehicle is:

    • A moped or motorcycle
    • A diesel vehicle, minimum standard Euro 6
    • A petrol vehicle, minimum standard Euro 4
    • A vehicle with zero emissions (electric or hydrogen)
    • A low emissions vehicle.

    From 25 October 2021 London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will extend to create a single, larger zone bounded by the North Circular Road (A406) and the South Circular Road (A205).

    Bath’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) launched in March this year.

    To get into Bath for free, diesel vehicles must be Euro 6 and petrol vehicles must be Euro 4 minimum.

    Bristol’s CAZ is now live too. You’ll be charged around £9 to enter the zone if your diesel vehicle is Euro 5 or older or your petrol vehicle is Euro 3 or older.

    Oxford’s Zero Emissions Zone will start this August.

    Everyone's driving changes as they age. But for some people, subtle differences emerge in how they control a vehicle, which scientists say are associated with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

    In an experiment to find out whether these driving differences can be detected using Global Positioning System-based (GPS) location-tracking devices, a group of over-65s in Missouri in the US agreed to have their driving closely monitored for one year.

    The DRIVES Study at Washington University in St. Louis, led by Catherine Roe and Ganesh Babulal and funded by the National Institute on Aging, wanted to find out was whether just studying the driving habits of this group alone could reveal the start of the disease - without the need for invasive or expensive medical procedures.

    After 365 days accumulating the information, they are confident that it could.

    Among the 139 people involved in the study, medical tests had already shown around half of them had very early or "preclinical" Alzheimer's disease. The other half did not. Analysis of their driving revealed detectable differences between the two groups.

    Specifically, those with preclinical Alzheimer's tended to drive more slowly, make abrupt changes, travel less at night, and logged fewer miles overall, for example. They also visited a smaller variety of destinations when driving, sticking to slightly more confined routes.

    New theory test booking system goes live on Monday 19 July

    DVSA is changing the way the theory test is provided in England, Scotland and Wales. From 6 September, the number of theory test centres in Great Britain will increase from 180 to 202 and many theory test centres will move location.

    A new booking system will launch at on 19 July, with tests available from 6 September onwards.

    Tests on or before 3 September can still be booked, where available, on the current booking system on GOV.UK.

    Say goodbye to the GB car sticker - new ‘UK’ version on the way

    rivers with hopes of road-tripping through Europe later this year will have to trade in their GB car sticker or magnet for a new ‘UK’ version.

    The current sticker used on the back of vehicles will no longer be valid from September 28, the United Nations (UN) has outlined. Instead, motorists will have to replace it with a UK sticker to drive on foreign roads.

    Those with a GB number plate will also need a new sticker, or have to order a fresh number plate with the UK symbol.

    The UN said it had received “a notification stating that the United Kingdom is changing the distinguishing sign that it had previously selected for display in international traffic on vehicles registered in the United Kingdom, from ‘GB’ to ‘UK’”.

    Although no official reasons have yet been outlined, the move is thought to be a show of solidarity with Northern Ireland in the wake of Brexit. GB stands for Great Britain, which comprises England, Scotland and Wales, whereas UK stands for the United Kingdom, which comprises Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Sutton Council is deploying sensors to help combat fly-tipping and the rise of unauthorised access in the borough’s car parks.

    The Council will be working with UK-based provider IoT Solutions Group, using their Internet of Things (IoT) technology to anonymously monitor suspicious car park activity in real-time, enabling the Council to check on whether any offences are taking place and notifying the police if necessary.

    When unauthorised vehicles enter car parks illegally, creating encampments and fly-tipping, it costs the Council time and resources to move unauthorised vehicles and clear away rubbish.

    The remote monitoring solution will enable the Council to prevent illegal activity from occurring, rather than embarking upon costly clear-ups after offences have been committed. 

    The Council has previously invested in overheight vehicle barriers across many car parks to prevent oversized vehicles entering the sites, although in some instances the locks have been illegally opened overnight.

    The digital sensors are being implemented as part of the South London Partnership’s InnOvaTe Project and will be installed across eleven car parks for a period of one year. 

    Electric car sales jump by 50% in just one month despite supply issues

    New UK car registrations in June grew 28% year-on-year, while demand for electric vehicles shot up once again, new figures show.

    A total of 186,128 new cars were registered across the country last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

    But the industry body labels this performance as “artificially lifted” due to it being in comparison to June 2020, when the UK was still emerging from the first lockdown and showrooms had only just opened.

    Monthly registrations were down 16.4% compared with the 10-year June average, while year-to-date sales are 26.8% below the decade-long average.

    The SMMT says the market has been squeezed by the global shortage of semiconductor chips, which is limiting supply.

    Nevertheless, drivers are still choosing to opt for greener alternatives. A combination of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) accounted for 17.2% of new car registrations, with pure electric cars making up more than one-in-10 sales.

    The Tesla Model 3 delivered 5,468 vehicles last month, topping the sales charts in June.

    Highway Code changes: update to finally include detail on smart motorways

    The Highway Code will be updated later this year to include specific guidance on driving on smart motorways, including the controversial all lane running schemes where there is no longer a hard shoulder.  

    The updates will include clearer advice on how and where to stop in an emergency, including the importance of not driving in a lane that has been closed with a red X sign displayed and, for the first time, emergency refuge (SOS) area signage.

    There will be new guidance on the use of variable speed limits to manage congestion. Plus, information will be included on how safety cameras are used to ensure compliance with speed limits and lanes closed with a red X, including the hard shoulder.

    The Government has been under pressure to either scrap all lane running smart motorways or drastically improve their safety following a number of deaths.

    On stretches of smart motorway the hard shoulder is either permanently or temporarily used as a live lane to improve traffic flow. But drivers can be left stranded if they break down or have an accident too far from a junction or an SOS area.

    Here, their safety is dependent on both the ‘red X’ being activated to close the lane, and also on drivers obeying the warning signs by changing lanes.

    Councils to get powers to fine drivers for common traffic offences

    Motorists will face fines of up to £70 for traffic offences as all councils in England and Wales are set to be given new road enforcement powers from December, the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed.

    For the first time local authorities outside of London and Cardiff will be able to dish out penalty notices for moving traffic offences such as stopping in a yellow box junction or making an illegal turn.

    RAC spokesman Simon Williams acknowledged councils outside of the capital should have such powers but is “fearful” some authorities may use them to raise additional revenue.

    Last year, an RAC freedom of information request revealed that authorities in London and Cardiff raked in £58.2m from drivers committing moving traffic offences in just one year (2018/2019).

    London and Cardiff are already permitted to enforce moving traffic offences but in the rest of the country this responsibility currently lies with the police.

    Motorists warned of websites charging a premium for DVLA services free on GOV.UK

    DVLA has been contacted more than 1,200 times since January 2020 by customers who have paid more for services than they need to by using unaffiliated websites.

    DVLA is urging motorists to beware of websites that charge a premium for DVLA online services that are cheaper or free on GOV.UK. The agency is reminding motorists that they should always use GOV.UK, to be sure they are dealing directly with DVLA and not paying more than they need to.

    This comes as new figures released today show that since January 2020, DVLA has been contacted by customers more than 1,200 times about websites that are not affiliated with DVLA but which purport to offer DVLA-related services.

    Using any website other than GOV.UK can mean motorists are charged more for services that are either cheaper or completely free on GOV.UK, such as changing the address on your driving licence or V5C vehicle registration certificate, and renewing a driving licence from age 70.

    Almost half of drivers developed dangerous habits during lockdown

    Lockdown appears to have taken its toll on our collective road sense, with 44% of motorists admitting to picking up dangerous driving habits over the past year.

    In a survey of 1,500 UK motorists, more than one in five (22%) say they now frequently – and dangerously – steer one-handed. Another 15% admit they drive 'far too quickly', while 12% say they are more easily distracted behind the wheel.

    Back in November, Government data showed the number of speeding drivers increased by 7% during the first lockdown

    This most recent poll from Nextbase found an alarming 14% have 'completely forgotten how to drive their car', while more than one-in-10 say they can’t remember a single thing from their driving theory test.

    Nearly half (44%) feel trepidation about the prospect of hitting the road for a long journey again, with over a quarter (29%) pinpointing concerns around motorway driving.

    Councillor Manuel Abellan publishes update on Suttons "School Streets" Program

    Over the last few months the Council has worked closely with 11 local schools to develop a new ‘School Streets’ programme. They state that they are committed to making the streets outside our schools safer and healthier for our children and are thrilled that the majority of the 1,500 parents, staff and residents who took part in their recent consultation agreed.

    A ‘School Street’ is a road outside or around a school with temporary traffic restrictions at school drop-off and pick-up times only. Residents living in the affected roads and emergency services continue to have access all day.

    Read more here.

    To help tackle the waiting list for driving tests DVSA have been working on a number of ways to increase the amount of driving test appointments available.

    From Monday 14 June 2021 they will be increasing the number of tests our examiners in England, Scotland and Wales carry out each day to 7 – this is the number carried out before the pandemic. The DVSA will also be able to start offering early morning and evening tests.

    They will start gradually adding new appointments on to the booking system on a daily basis from 9 June.

    Candidates can check for new appointments at your local test centres on the book a driving test or the change your driving test services.

    I think you'll agree this is amazing news and a relief for everyone wanting a driving test.

    The councils will partner with Vivacity Labs to review and monitor use of existing cycle routes in both their areas.

    Earlier this year, Sutton and Kingston Councils announced their partnership with UK-based transport company Vivacity Labs to help improve active travel insight and the safety of high footfall areas.

    The councils, as part of the South London Partnership’s InnOvaTe Project, will use Vivacity’s AI and Internet of Things (IoT) technology to provide anonymous data on different transport modes and movement patterns.

    Sensors will be deployed to gather more information about each borough’s cycle infrastructure, including the number of cyclists currently using the existing cycle lanes and main roads within the borough, and the number of unauthorised vehicles illegally using the spaces. This will help the councils to consider the areas to be included in any future expansion of their cycle infrastructure.

    London pedestrians to get traffic light priority over vehicles

    A total of 18 pedestrian crossings across London will show a ‘green person’ by default to help make it “the world’s most walkable city”, Transport for London has announced.

    ‘Green Person Authority’ traffic lights will display a continuous red light to drivers unless they detect approaching traffic, at which point vehicles will be let through temporarily.

    It’s part of the capital’s latest move to make its transport network more sustainable, supporting “a green recovery” from the coronavirus pandemic. It follows newly re-elected Mayor Sadiq Khan’s pledge to be the “greenest Mayor London’s ever had” when he confirmed the city’s expansion of Ultra-Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) earlier this month.

    The new technology is already installed at seven locations in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hounslow, Richmond and Hillington and will be delivered at 11 more by the end of June.

    What range anxiety? EV drivers rack up more miles than those in petrol and diesel cars

    Owners of electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe are driving more miles annually than those in petrol and diesel cars, research by Nissan suggests.

    The average EV covers 391 miles (630 kilometres) more each year than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, challenging the perceived ‘range anxiety’ fears of many drivers still opposed to the idea of going green.

    Nissan expressed confidence that “with more EVs on the road dispelling myths, range anxiety will soon be in the past”.

    In a poll of 7,000 motorists across the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Norway Sweden and Denmark, petrol and diesel drivers are travelling around 13,600km (8,451 miles), while EV drivers accumulate more than 14,200km (8,825 miles) per year.

    High car prices and concerns about charging infrastructure are thought to be the key turn-offs for would-be EV buyers. Almost half (47%) of ICE drivers polled said the main advantage of a petrol or diesel car is greater range.

    Of the 30% of ICE drivers who said they’re unlikely to consider a fully electric vehicle, the majority (58%) said the biggest concern is that EVs have a shorter driving range.

    The survey also found 70% of existing EV drivers believe their experience of range is already better than they initially expected. This might help to allay fears of range anxiety, as 38% of ICE drivers in Europe believe the biggest pull-factor to switch to electric would be longer ranges.

    Proposed works include a pedestrian crossing over the A217, speed reductions and new zebra crossings

    Cash from developers is being used to pay for a pedestrian crossing over a busy A road.

    Engineers from Surrey County Council (SCC) and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council secured the funding from developer contribution for the A217 at Brighton Road and Burgh Wood.

    The Local Committee for SCC and the borough has a combined £204,182 from capital and revenue pots to spend on highways this year.

    In a report to be approved by the committee on Tuesday next week (June 5), works carried out last year were outlined along with proposed works for this financial year.

    This included the A217 crossing plus an enhanced gateway scheme on the A25 Buckland Road in Reigate.

    Learner drivers park manual cars in shift to automatic.

    Learner drivers in Britain are increasingly turning to automatic vehicles instead of vehicles with manual gears, official data shows.

    Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) show the number of driving tests conducted in automatic cars has risen annually since 2012.

    Overall, the vast majority of people are still learning to drive in cars with manual gearboxes.

    But experts say the shift towards automatics is only likely to continue.

    Data from the DVSA shows that in 2011-12 there were 70,429 driving tests conducted in automatic cars in Britain.

    By 2018-19, that figure had risen to 185,043, an increase of 163%

    A pedestrian crossing in Sutton Town Centre has been permanently painted in the colours of the transgender flag to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

    The transgender flag was created in 1999. It comprises the colours blue (representing males), pink (representing females) and white (representing those who are transitioning, intersex or consider themselves as having an unidentified gender). 

    The crossing, which is on the one-way system outside Asda, will be a visible celebration of Sutton’s transgender community and a sign of the inclusivity of the borough. It will also form part of Sutton’s work to improve local streets and make walking and cycling more appealing. The crossing will brighten the area, and provide a colourful welcome for people entering Sutton.  

    The transgender crossing is the first of its kind in the UK. It follows from the introduction of a rainbow crossing during Pride month 2020.

    Man Jailed After Wrapping Bandage Around Head To Take Theory Tests For Other People

    A man has been jailed for taking driving theory tests for people while disguising himself by wrapping a bandage around his head.

    Twenty-eight-year-old Izmir Senaj came up with a number of excuses to try and explain why he needed to wear the bandages after appearing at DVLA test centres across the UK while pretending to be someone else to sit their tests.

    Senaj's scam was eventually rumbled by a staff member at a test centre in Swindon who recognised him as a wanted man following an appeal, the Metro reports.

    Appearing at Swindon Crown Court, Senaj pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and was handed a two-years-and-four month jail term.

    Judge Jason Taylor QC said: "Your actions show a callous disregard for the system which is designed to ensure that only those qualified to drive safely get behind the wheel of a car."

    People with more qualifications less likely to pass first time, finds study

    In the study 59 percent of those with no qualifications passed first time, falling to 51 percent for those with A-levels.

    People who have a degree or post-graduate qualification are more likely to have a higher number of failed driving tests than people with no GCSEs, according to new research.

    Insurers Privilege DriveXpert conducted the analysis of 1,564 people with a full UK driving licence and found that 59 percent of those with no qualifications passed first time, falling to 51 percent for those with A-levels

    Creative personality types will also be pleased to hear that those specialising in the arts at A-level and above passed their driving test with fewer attempts. The research found that this was 1.9 attempts compared to 2.3 for those who studied maths and sciences.

    The study found that six out of 10 drivers with no qualifications pass their L-test first time with an average of 1.7 attempts to gain the full driving licence.

    By contrast, half of people with GCSEs passed first time, with an average of 1.8 attempts.

    Sadiq Khan confirms ULEZ expansion to ‘speed up cleaning of London’s toxic air'

    The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London will be expanded this autumn in a bid to tackle air pollution from vehicles in the UK’s capital.

    The updated zone is to be 18 times larger than the compact city centre area currently in force, recently re-elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged.

    From 25 October, ULEZ signs will be put up on all streets within the North and South circular roads, and drivers of non-compliant vehicles will pay £12.50 a day to drive through the area.

    To avoid the charge, petrol cars must comply with Euro 4 emissions standards, while diesel cars will need to comply with Euro 6. This means most petrol vehicles newly registered before January 2006 and most diesel vehicles registered before September 2015 will incur a fee. City Hall predicts this could be around 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries every day.

    Coronavirus: Driving test waiting times reach new high

    Learner drivers are waiting up to 18 weeks for a practical driving test due to a huge backlog caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The pandemic forced the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) to cancel 241,127 practical driving tests between April 2020 and March 2021, a figure that has left test centres with long waiting lists of learner drivers who are desperate to take their practical test. 

    The Government's roadmap out of lockdown permits practical driving tests to restart in England and Wales today (6 May for those in Scotland) but research from heycar has revealed that eager learners will probably be met with disappointment.

    According to a Freedom of Information request carried out by heycar, the worst affected areas with an 18 week waiting time are Halifax (Maltings), Cheadle, Isle of Scilly, Crieff and Llandrindod Wells

    Bradford (Manningham), Northwich, Isle of Mull and Bristol (Jubilee House) are among the places where waits stretch to 17 weeks while learners in Bridgend and Llantrisant face delays of 16 weeks.

    The DVSA have release a new website to better explain Driving Test Results.

    Students now benefit from better guidance to help them understand their driving test results.

    What's in the guidance.?

    The guidance explains what studentsl needed to do in the 24 skill areas that are assessed.

    It also includes examples of common faults and advice for students about how to improve in these areas.

    ‘Self-driving’ cars could get green light for use on UK motorways this year

    Motorists could legally allow their cars to “self-drive” on British motorways later this year but only slowly, the government has announced.

    Drivers could soon be allowed to read a newspaper or watch a film via the car’s built-in screen in periods of slow-moving traffic, using automated lane-keeping system (Alks) technology that makes the car stay in lane and a safe distance from other vehicles.

    The cars will be defined as self-driving when the system is in operation, at a maximum speed of 37mph. According to the DfT, the technology, which will constantly monitor speed and distance from other cars, could improve road safety by reducing human error.

    New theory test booking service to go live from 8th July 2021

    DVSA are making changes to the theory test service by bringing more parts of it in-house. This includes the theory test booking service.

    The new theory test booking service, for England, Scotland and Wales, will be launched on Thursday 8 July 2021 when bookings will be taken online and via the DVSA customer service centre. This service is moving from Pearson VUE to DVSA.

    The new online booking system will accept test bookings to be taken from 4 September when the new theory test service begins. Any test bookings for dates before 4 September must be made on the current system.

    All theory tests including ADI part 1 and enhanced rider scheme training theory tests are still booked from the current GOV.UK pages. For tests to be taken from 4 September, other than slightly different looking screens you and your pupils will not notice a difference.

    DVSA have worked with theory test candidates and the Government Digital Service to improve the booking service by making it easier to use.

    Shift to EVs ‘accelerating at speed’ with half a million on UK roads

    Over 500,000 ultra low emission vehicles are now being driven around the country in a major milestone for sustainable motoring, the government has announced.

    The news comes as Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures reveal 13.6% of new cars sold in the past four months had a plug.

    Sales of ultra-low emission car purchases notched a threefold increase last year, accounting for more than 1 in 10 sales, up from 1 in 30 the year before.

    The rise in drivers opting for environmentally-friendly alternatives marks a positive step on route to the government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

    Meanwhile, the UK is gearing towards hosting the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November, and the government has pledged to ensure all new cars and vans will be zero emissions at the tailpipe by 2035.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “As hosts of COP26, we want to drive decarbonisation on the global stage, which is why we’re going further and faster to make the journeys of our future as clean as possible.

    The brand-new Safe Driving for Life website goes live today (Wednesday 28 April).

    The new site includes exciting features to help pupils pass their theory test first time. It also provides valuable information for road users throughout their driving lifetime.

    The site has replaced the existing Safe Driving for Life site. The DVSA have kept popular content such as the free practice theory tests, the shop and blogs. And we’ve added new content and features to the site.

    Pupils will now be able to share their theory test revision progress through the website.

    UK’s largest EV motorway charging site unveils future of service stations

    A new service station kitted out with 24 ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging pointshas showcased what services will look like in the UK.

    Moto has opened Rugby Services, its first new site in 14 years, to encourage ‘sustainable motoring’ and to help people to switch to EVs in the run up to the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

    Drivers with compatible EVs stopping at Junction 1 of the M6 – the site of the largest EV charging service station on Britain’s motorways – will only need a five-minute recharge from the 350kW devices to gain up to 100 miles of range.

    Motorists can pay contactless for the 12 Tesla Superchargers and 12 Electric Highway devices provided by Ecotricity and Gridserve.

    A further 28 Moto sites across the country are due to have ultra-rapid chargers installed by the end of the year, while the company hopes all of its services will have at least six by the end of 2022

    DVSA release the Top 10 reasons for failing the driving test in Great Britain

    1. Not making effective observations at junctions

    2. Not using mirrors correctly when changing direction

    3. Not having proper control of the steering

    4. Incorrect positioning when turning right at junctions

    5. Not moving off safely

    6. Not responding appropriately to traffic lights

    7. Poor positioning on the road during normal driving

    8. Not responding correctly to traffic signs

    9. Not having control of the vehicle when moving off

    10. Not keeping control of the vehicle during reverse parking

    - More information can be found here - 

    UK steps up as Europe’s second largest EV market

    The UK has replaced France to become the second largest electric car market in Europe due to a rise in demand for vehicles with zero exhaust emissions.  

    Around 31,800 battery electric vehicles were sold in the UK in the first three months of 2021 – 1,300 more than in France – analysis by independent automotive expert Matthias Schmidt shows. 

    This follows a hike in electric car sales since the start of 2020, partly because of manufacturers being threatened with fines if they don’t decrease their vehicles’ average carbon dioxide output.  

    Battery electrics made up 7.5% of UK sales in the first three months of this year, almost doubling the market share compared to the same period last year, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows.  

    Despite the effects of Covid-19, 2020 was the first year European carmakers sold more than 500,000 electric cars.  

    This figure is expected to double to 1 million in 2021, though pure electric cars will remain only a tenth of the total European car market by 2024, Matthias Schmidt predicts. 

    Germany is still the biggest single market for battery electric cars in Europe, with 64,700 sold in the first quarter. This was made possible partly by the German Government doubling already generous subsidies to protect its auto industry.

    Number of young drivers plunges to record low

    The number of young people qualified to get behind the wheel has dropped to the lowest level ever recorded, with driving lessons and tests suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    There are currently just 2.97 million people aged 16-25 who hold a full driving licence in Britain, down from 3.32 million in March 2020, analysis of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data by PA news agency reveals.

    This is the lowest number of young people on the roads since records began in November 2012 when there were 3.42 million drivers aged 25 and under.

    The decline is sharper than the fall in the total number of young people in Britain over the same period.

    10 new "Temporary" theory lest sites in England

    To help with the extra demand for theory tests, DVSA have opened 10 new temporary sites in England. They have also extended the opening hours at most other theory test centres in England and Wales too.

     - Click here to move your test - 

    New car joins the fleet.

    New year, new me..

    Banstead School Of Motoring is proud to welcome a new additions to its fleet.

    Today we took delivery of this stunning Mini Cooper for driving lessons.

    Now who's going to be the first lucky student to get a drive.?

    The DVSA has confirmed that driving lessons can resume as planned on 12th April 2021.

    Thats obviously great news for everyone.

    Driving tests are due to resume on 22nd April 2021 in order to give everyone an

    opportunity to prepare for there driving tests.

    Good luck everyone, see you out there..

    Even the best jokes can get lost in explanation. Sadly for executives at Volkswagen, they have had a lot of explaining to do this week after an April fool went spectacularly wrong.

    On Monday, three days before April Fool’s Day, the car-making giant’s US arm made the grand proclamation that it would no longer go by its old German name. Now, in the US at least, it would answer to “Voltswagen”, a reflection of its commitment to an electric future

    Volkswagen has apologised for "any confusion" as it admitted that an electric car PR stunt on was an attempt at an April Fool's joke.

    There has previously been frustration expressed by VW officials that its electric vehicle efforts have attracted less media and public attention than Tesla.

    Lockdown restrictions begin to ease - 29/03/2021

    Govenment lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted today.

    From today (29 March), you can do private driving practice on non-essential journeys with members of your household or support bubble.

    Good luck out there and safe driving. All going well we'll see you all for lessons on 12th April..

    Stay safe..

    Google Maps will start directing drivers to routes which generate the lowest carbon footprint as part of its pledge to be carbon-free by 2030.

    The new AI-driven model will default to the most environmentally friendly journey based on fuel consumption, after analysing factors like road incline and traffic congestion.

    Google says the feature will launch in the US on Android and iOS later this year, 'with a global expansion on the way'.

    An eco-friendly route will automatically present itself when it has roughly the same arrival time as the fastest option. If this greener journey is due to take significantly longer, though, drivers will have the choice to compare predicted emissions with quicker routes, leaving it up to them to select a chosen path.

    Drivers will also have the choice to opt out entirely if they’d prefer to receive only the fastest journeys available.

    DVSA prepare to introduce new schemes to reduce test waiting times.

    Encouraging learners to pass first time

    DVSA are planning to run a campaign to encourage learners to take their test only when they are confident they can pass. This will help them to avoid a lengthy wait for a retest and help us by not adding to the backlog of tests.

    They have asked driving instructorsto help them by identifying your pupils who are ready for their test and those who need more support and practice.

    The newly appointed Chief Executive of the DVSA addressed all driving instructors to introduce herself and offer support in these challenging times.

    A Civil Engineer by background, Loveday has spent time designing and building roads in the past.

    Most recently, she was the Chief Executive of an organisation providing specialist digital technology services to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and is really delighted to be moving up in scale again, joining DVSA.

    "Our mission of helping everyone stay safe on Britain’s roads is so important"

    The body which oversees driving tests has launched a recruitment drive for new examiners.

    The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is seeking more staff to help tackle the huge backlog of driving tests caused by lockdowns around the country.

    In the advert for the role, the DVSA explains: “The challenges presented by Covid-19 mean we’ve been unable to conduct the number of tests we would in a normal year, so we need to recruit more driving examiners to help get back to ‘business as usual’.”

    Hundreds of thousands of practical car driving tests were cancelled during the first UK-wide lockdown which started in March 2020, creating a backlog of tests. The problem was made worse by subsequent regional lockdowns, problems with the online booking system and the need to reduce the number of tests per day in line with safety guidelines.

    The DVSA has come under fire over its handling of the backlog and faced calls for driving instructors to be allowed to issue passes and for theory test passes to be extended.

    It says that the recruitment drive for more examiners is part of a package of measures aimed at tackling the huge demand for driving tests as soon as possible.

    As well as hiring more examiners, the agency has extended testing outside of normal working hours and drafted in qualified staff from other areas to conduct driving test.

    English car driving tests are to restart on 22 April if government guidance allows

    DVSA are rescheduling tests that can't take place in date order.

    They are currently moving tests on 24 March. You can reschedule your test yourself using this link:-

    -- Change your driving test appointment --

    DVSA gives update on lessons & practical and theory tests restart - 09/03/2021

    The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has given details of when driving lessons and driving tests are likely to resume in England.

    DVSA have said: 

    The proposed date for you to restart driving lessons and training is Monday 12 April 2021. We know many of you want the opportunity to carry out lessons and training before we restart driving tests and we agree with this, Therefore tests are due to restart 10 days later on Thursday 22 April, *if government guidance allows.

    We'll email candidates with tests booked before 22 April to let them know their test will be rescheduled.

    ‘Sigh of relief’ for drivers as Chancellor freezes fuel duty again

    The Chancellor’s decision to cancel a planned increase in fuel duty has been widely welcomed by motoring industry insiders.

    As part of his plan to do “whatever it takes” to help people and businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic, Rishi Sunak delivered news of the freeze in his March Budget speech to the House of Commons on Wednesday.

    It means fuel duty will remain frozen at 57.95p a litre for 2021-22. Mr Sunak later tweeted that “as a result of these eleven years of freezes, the average car driver will have saved a cumulative £1,600”.

    RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Drivers will breathe a sigh of relief that the Chancellor has decided not to ‘rock the fuel duty boat’.

    Highways England has launched a review of the Highway Code to improve road safety on motorways and high-speed roads. The consultation will run for four weeks.

    The Highway Code is regularly updated to improve safety for all road users.

    Highways England is asking for your views on updated safety information for high-speed dual carriageways and motorways.

    Proposed changes include updating information on the use of variable speed limits to manage congestion, the use of red X signs to close lanes, and what to do in the event of a breakdown.

    Plan to break service station EV charging monopoly ‘welcome news’.

    The government is set to break the electric car charging monopoly at motorway services in a bid to make more choice available to drivers.

    At the moment, Ecotricity is the only company with a contract to provide electric vehicle (EV) chargers at motorway service stations.

    EV consumer site said Ecotricity has been widely criticised by drivers for its “outdated and unreliable hardware” that reportedly make longer journeys “unpredictable”.

    Speaking to, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said that there will be at least six high-power chargers from other providers fitted at each service area by 2023. 

    The transport minister said: “We do believe it will take government investment to ‘charge up’ this market. So we’ve got nearly £1 billion to upgrade those connections at motorway service stations.”

    She added that the chargers would be at least 150kW, much faster than current rapid chargers rated at 41-50kW, and will allow drivers to charge their car “in the time it takes to get a cup of coffee.”

    The Driving Standards Agency has announced that In line with the government’s roadmap announcement, driving and theory tests will resume no earlier than 12 April

    They are working closely with the government and will provide more information as soon as they are able to do so on other tests, lessons and training.

    Nearly all drivers want speed cameras to check tax, insurance and MOTs on vehicles.

    A new study has found that 90 per cent of motorists want speed cameras to check for vehicle tax, insurance and whether they have a valid MOT.

    Those are the findings from road safety charity IAM Roadsmart, which is urging police to make better use of cameras detecting speed to ensure drivers are following the rules and are behind the wheel of roadworthy vehicles.

    Figures from the Department for Transport suggest that someone is injured by uninsured drivers every 20 minutes, while worryingly more than a quarter of motorists are unsure as to when their car’s MOT expires, too.

    Other findings in the charity’s annual Safety Culture Report highlighted more drivers supporting cameras being used for other road fines, with 82 per cent supporting them being used to fine drivers running red lights, particularly in urban areas.

    During lockdown, all driving lessons with an instructor and tests have been cancelled unless you are an emergency worker who has been able to book in an emergency driving test.

    Whilst this is upsetting news for many learner drivers, the positive to come from this is that private practice is still permitted.

    The DVSA advise that learners can practise driving with members of their household or support bubble as long as it's on an essential journey. 

    Almost half of all drivers (47%) say they will consider buying an electric vehicle when they next change their car, according to an exclusive poll of 17,628 drivers.

    Women were more likely (49%) to say they would consider an electric car than men (46%). Across age groups, respondents aged 65+ were significantly less likely (43%) to consider an electric car when they next change their car than all other age groups (18-24; 60%, 35-44; 56%, 55-64; 48%). 

    Respondents living in London (56%) were most likely to consider purchasing an electric car as their next vehicle, as were AB social groups (54%).

    When will driving tests resume.? - 14/02/2021

    The DVSA said that the suspension on tests would remain in place until the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

    England will review its rules on 15 February. All indications, however, are that lockdown is likely to continue for another three weeks.

    Practically, the earliest that we can expect driving tests to resume across the UK is late February or early March. But we’ll have to wait and see.

    The DVSA has said that it will be contacting those affected to give further guidelines on what to do.

    If you’ve been affected, the DVSA will contact you so that you can rebook. However, bookings for new tests remain closed

    Meet the virtual reality hazard perception tests of the future

    The next overhaul of the driving theory test could see candidates strapping on virtual reality (VR) headsets.

    The RAC Foundation and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have teamed up with the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to see if hazard perception skills could be put to a more immersive test.

    Researchers are developing training materials and two 360 degree tests to compare their use against single-screen equivalents.

    The project website says that “Virtual Reality promises much in terms of immersion and the evocation of more naturalistic behaviour, but we do not have clear evidence of the benefits in terms of driving-safety interventions. This research aims to fill this gap.”

    One of the tests uses footage from real vehicles while the second uses computer-generated images.

    Both versions use clips from the perspective of the driver which stop just as a hazard begins to develop. Users must then choose from four options about what happens next.

    DVSA cancelling more driving tests as lockdown continues - 10/02/2021

    The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has said that it is cancelling almost all practical and theory driving tests for at least another two weeks as England remains under lockdown conditions.

    The agency first announced in January that it was suspending driving tests across England as the country entered a new six-week period of lockdown. At the time it said only that the suspension would last until restrictions were lifted.

    £20 million investment for roadside electric car chargers.

    Plans for an ‘electric vehicle revolution’ were boosted yesterday when the Transport Secretary pledged £20 million towards adding new chargepoints across the UK.

    The investment could see the number of government-supported electric vehicle chargers double to nearly 8,000.

    The Department for Transport (DfT) encouraged local authorities to take advantage of the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS), which has already benefitted more than 140 projects.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “With a world-leading charging network, we’re making it easier for more people to switch to electric vehicles, creating healthier neighbourhoods and cleaning up our air as we build back greener.”

    The ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 has increased the need to improve charging infrastructure.

    12-month minimum learning period for new drivers.? - 04/02/2021

    New research conducted by IAM RoadSmart has found “overwhelming” support for a 12-month minimum learning period for new drivers before they can take the practical driving test.

    In its survey of more than 2,000 motorists, the charity found that more than two-thirds (68%) backed the suggestion that all new drivers, regardless of age, should undergo at least a year’s training and supervised practice before being allowed to take their practical test.

    In 2019, the Government committed to investigating some form of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) including the possibility of a 12-month minimum learning period as a key component but have not provided any firm conclusions.

    DVSA are introducing a limited theory test and practical test service for NHS health and social care workers, the emergency services and local councils. 

    This will only be for those who need to drive as part of their job and respond to threats to life. 

    They can only accept applications for these tests from employers, such as NHS Trusts. 

    There are no plans to extend this service further at this time. 

    Instructors will be able to teach candidates with a confirmed booking for a mobile emergency worker test.

    350% spike in sales in December rounds off 'bumper year' for BEVs - 01/01/2021

    Battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales saw significant growth in 2020, with a 343.7% increase in December 2020.

    This is in comparison to December 2019, where BEVs held just 3.3% of the market share, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This soared to a 16.5% share in 2020, with 21,914 cars sold.

    Overall in 2020, demand for BEVs grew by 185.9%, with 108,205 cars sold in the year. When combined with plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), the majority of the registrations (68%) were for company cars, which the SMMT said shows that private buyers “need stronger incentives to make the switch” as well as more investment in charging infrastructure, in particular on-street charging

    Happy New Year - 01/01/2021

    So 2021 is finally here.!

    All of us at Banstead School of Mortoring wish you all a very Happy New Year.

    We hope that the new year brings you all health and happyness..

    Safe driving.. :o)

    The new cameras targeting tailgaters coming to a motorway near you

    Highways England has stepped up its efforts to curb tailgaters with the help of new roadside cameras.

    Technology that can detect if vehicles are travelling too close to each other is being trialled on the M1 in Northamptonshire before it’s rolled out across the country.

    The new system has recorded 26,000 tailgating vehicles in the first two months of the trial. 

    That’s 419 drivers a day breaking the Highway Code’s two-second minimum gap rule.

    Rather than prosecuting offenders, the police have sent warning letters in the post to reinforce the message to leave a safe distance between vehicles. Drivers can usually be fined £100 and handed three penalty points on their licence.

    Of the 26,000 tailgaters who received letters, 3,700 were repeat offenders. Some drivers were spotted tailgating up to 12 times on the same 150-metre stretch of road where the cameras have been installed.

    Highways England’s Head of Road Safety Jeremy Philips said the cameras are there to “make drivers aware of their behaviour and encourage better driving”.

    “These new cameras have, sadly, highlighted just how many people are driving too close on our roads”, he added.

    DVLA warns motorists to be aware of scams

    DVLA has revealed a 20% rise in scams reported to their contact centre, with 1,538 reports about suspected vehicle tax scams during the last 3 months of 2019.

    DVLA has released pictures of some of the cons being used by scammers to trick motorists into handing over their money.

    It comes as new figures show a 20% increase in scams reported to DVLA, with 1,538 reports made to DVLA in the last three months of 2019.

    The reports of suspected web, email, text or social media scams were up from 1,275 in the same period in 2018. DVLA has released the images of recent scams reported to help motorists be aware of what to look out for and issue a clear warning that if something offered online or by text message appears too good to be true, then it almost certainly is.

    Scammers are targeting unsuspecting customers with links to services that do not exist and messages of tax refunds, all of which are fake.

    Electric car batteries with five-minute charging times produced.

    Batteries capable of fully charging in five minutes have been produced in a factory for the first time, marking a significant step towards electric cars becoming as fast to charge as filling up petrol or diesel vehicles.

    Electric vehicles are a vital part of action to tackle the climate crisis but running out of charge during a journey is a worry for drivers. The new lithium-ion batteries were developed by the Israeli company StoreDot and manufactured by Eve Energy in China on standard production lines.

    StoreDot has already demonstrated its “extreme fast-charging” battery in phones, drones and scooters and the 1,000 batteries it has now produced are to showcase its technology to carmakers and other companies. Daimler, BP, Samsung and TDK have all invested in StoreDot, which has raised $130m to date and was named a Bloomberg New Energy Finance Pioneer in 2020.

    Driving lessons suspended in Tier 4 - 19/12/2020

    Driving lessons and driving tests suspended in Tier 4 areas...

    We'll be resuming as soon as it's safe and we are allowed to..

    Stay safe...

    Driver and rider tests suspended in November 2020 -  03/11/2020

    Driver and rider tests will be suspended from November 5 until December 2, 2020, to coincide with the second lockdown period in England.

    In addition, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has said that as well as examinations, driver training will be suspended over the same timeframe. It means that learners will be unable to book driving lessons with a certified instructor.

    In a statement, it said: “Following the Government announcement on tougher national restrictions from Thursday, driver and rider training and tests will be suspended in England from 5 November until 2 December 2020."

    Driving Theory Test to be changed from the end of September  -  28/09/2020

    The DVSA is to bring in changes to the car driving theory test from Monday, September 28.

    Changes were originally due to be made in March but were delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic

    The updated part of the test is designed to make it more realistic and improve accessibility for all candidates.

    Video clip scenarios will replace the written case study within the multiple-choice part of the current theory test. Candidates will be asked three questions based on the short video clip.

    Currently, you have to read a case study and then answer 5 questions about it.

    Road safety: UK set to adopt vehicle speed limiters.

    Speed limiting technology looks set to become mandatory for all vehicles sold in Europe from 2022, after new rules were provisionally agreed by the EU.

    The Department for Transport said the system would also apply in the UK, despite Brexit.

    Campaigners welcomed the move, saying it would save thousands of lives.

    Road safety charity Brake called it a "landmark day", but the AA said "a little speed" helped with overtaking or joining motorways.

    Safety measures approved by the European Commission included intelligent speed assistance (ISA), advanced emergency braking and lane-keeping technology.

    The EU says the plan could help avoid 140,000 serious injuries by 2038 and aims ultimately to cut road deaths to zero by 2050

    Fully electric vehicle for under £20,000.

    Tesla co-founder Elon Musk has announced plans to build a fully autonomous car that will sell for $25,000 (£19,600) during his self-proclaimed ‘Battery Day’ yesterday.

    In a speech delivered in front of 240 shareholders, the eccentric CEO revealed new ‘tabless’ batteries that could drive the cost of electric vehicles down and in line with traditional diesel or petrol vehicles.

    "This has always been our dream to make an affordable electric car," he said, claiming that it could become a reality by just 2023

    From Monday 14 September 2020, DVSA will extend the period in which tests are available from 6 weeks to 18 weeks ahead.

    This will add over 375,000 more test appointments between 14 September 2020 and the end of January 2021.

    As well as making tests available to book 18 weeks ahead, DVSA plans to increase the number of car driving tests per day from 5 to 6.

    DVSA can safely increase the number of tests a day as driving examiners are:

    • now familiar with how to use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face coverings and gloves
    • following the latest safety guidance when carrying out tests

    From today (Friday 21 August 2020), DVSA will be reopening the online booking service from 8am for everyone to book their driving tests.

    This means anyone will be able to book a driving test in England and Wales.

    Test centres in Scotland remain closed, except for motorcycle tests. 

    When candidates arrange a test, they will be able to see available appointments within the next 6 weeks.

    The DVSA not taking bookings any further in advance at the moment. This is so they can react quickly to any changes in government guidance about coronavirus.

    DVSA have comented that there has been an "unprecedented demand" and although there have been issues with their website they are working to fix the issue.

    Britain's first Dutch-style roundabout prioritising cyclists and pedestrians over motorists has opened in Cambridge.

    Cyclists have an outer ring on the roundabout, with cycle crossings over each of the four approach roads in a contrasting red surface.

    There are also zebra crossings over each approach road for pedestrians and motorists must give way to pedestrians and to cyclists when joining and leaving the roundabout

    Reduced lane widths on the roundabout and at exit and entry points have also been installed to encourage drivers to slow down.

    The development comes after Cambridgeshire County Council said that the old roundabout near the city’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital “was perceived by many people to be dangerous to cycle around”.

    A consultation has been launched seeking your views on proposed changes to the Highway Code. 

    The review is being held by the Department for Transport, to improve safety for vulnerable road users, particularly the groups of:

    • cyclists
    • pedestrians
    • horse riders

    The main changes being proposed are:

    • ensuring that road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others
    • making rules on pedestrians clearer
    • providing guidance on cyclist priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead
    • creating guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists and horse riders

    After a long wait driving tests start again today in England following a postponement due to the coronavirus..

    A new "Covid safe" driving test will come into effect today and is open to everyone (Not just key workers), candidates will be required to wear face coverings during the test unless they have a medical reason not to. The candidates car interior will also be required to have been cleaned prior to the tests.

    Examiners will be disinfecting the test car prior to the test as well as using plastic seat covers and wearing face coverings themselves. Other changes include the driving test now being concluded early if the candidate makes is a major or serious fault. This is to limit exposure time in the car. Test centre waiting rooms will also be closed with a requirement that candidates arrive no sooner than 5 minutes before the start of their driving tests.

    Good luck everyone.!! Stay Safe....

    Driving Lessons commence again - 06/07/2020

    We are pleased to be able to announce that we are back and open for Driving lessons.

    After over 100 days of lockdown Banstead School Of Motoring are back on the road and teaching again, both Manual and Automatic Drving Lessons.

    See you out and about.. :o)

    Driving Lessons, theory tests and driving tests restart in England - 25/06/2020

    The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced that learners can resume driving lessons and motorcycle training in England from Saturday 4 July 2020.

    The rule applies to all types of driver and motorcycle training in England, including private practice with someone you live with or in your support bubble.

    Theory tests will restart in England on Saturday 4 July. The tests will take place with social distancing measures in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

    Car driving tests will restart in England on Wednesday 22 July, which will give learner drivers time to have refresher lessons and practice before taking their test.

    Number plate changes have been introduced to make it easier to identify electric cars which will help local authorities to put in place extra policies. Electric car owners could soon benefit from extra support such as cheaper parking costs and free entry into zero-emissions zone.

    Introducing the green plates will help enforce these schemes as only cars with the new designs will be eligible for the rewards.  

    Hybrid vehicles will not be eligible for a green number plate and the extra benefits despite their reduced pollution levels.

    The AA says the new number plate designs could become a “badge of honour” for some motorists proud of embracing the new technology.

    Update on Theory Tests for Critical Workers  -  28/05/2020

    To help critical workers get an emergency theory test at a location that is more suitable to them, the DVSA will be opening an additional 25 theory test centres across the UK.

    When applying for an emergency theory test online, candidates will be asked to select their 'preferred' test centre. Their theory test will then be booked at the nearest available centre if their preferred location is not available.

    Theory tests for anyone who is not a key worker have been cancelled up to and including 30 May 2020.

    Driving Test update (rescheduling)   -  16/05/2020

    We are aware that some of our students have been given new driving test dates in June and July for the tests that were cancelled by the DVSA due to Corona Virus in March & April 2020.

    We anticipate that it is possible thst these may be rescheduled again but are monitoring the situation closely.

    We have reached out to the DVSA regarding this as students with test will require training in the run up to the tests themselves and are awaiting a response.

    Corona Virus update  -  13/05/2020

    We are monitoring the current situation closely, At present the advice from the Driving and Vehicle Standards agency is still that driving instructors should not be teaching unless instructing a critical worker.

    Practical and theory driving tests are still suspended at present.

    We hope to restart lessons as soon as it is safe to do so.

    Please feel free to reach out to us for any enquiries and future lessons as we are still here to respond to enquiries.

    Take care and we'll see you soon

    MOT Testing  -  25/03/2020

    The Government has moved to exempt all cars, vans and motorcycles from needing an MOT test for six months from 30 March. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.

    Legislation will be introduced on March 30 and will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation with key organisations. Drivers will still need to get their vehicle tested until the new regulations come into place, if they need to use it.

    Driving lessons suspended  -  18/03/2020

    In line with DVSA guidelines on Corona Virus, We at Banstead School Of Motoring have made the decision suspending driving lessons.

    The DVSA have advised that driving instructors should not be teaching at present and we completely suport this decision, We feel that it is the best interest of our instructors, our sutdents and public health that this is the right decision at the present time.

    We hope to return to teaching as soon as possibe and we will keep you updated as and when further information arrives with us.

    Stay home, Stay Safe, Save lives.

    Driving Test Centres close due to Corona Virus  -  17/03/2020

    The DVSA have announced that they are closing Driving test centres and have suspended driving tests for up to 3 months due to the Corona Virus.

    Driving tests are still available for critical worker.

    We are monitoring the situation closely.

    Driving in the dark? -  02/03/2020

    The DVSA is encouraging learner drivers to take lessons in the dark, in a bid to cut the ‘high proportion’ of night-time collisions involving young drivers.

    Research shows that up to 100,000 candidates may be taking their driving test each year without having practised driving in the dark.

    This is despite the fact that 35% of collisions involving young drivers between 2014-18 happened at night.

    The DVSA is highlighting the issue as part of a new campaign – and is calling on learners to gain the ‘essential’ experience of driving in the dark, whether with their driving instructor or through private practice

    Changes to the Theory Test  -  18/02/2020

    From 14 April 2020, the car theory test will be modified so that the case studies will be substituted with a short video clip and 3 multiple-choice questions based on the video.

    This change will be introduced to make the theory test more accessible to people with reading difficulty, learning disability or developmental condition (like autism).

    Bad weather warning  -  03/02/2020

    The DVSA are reporting that some driving tests are being effected due to bad weather around the country, this is mainly due to the heavy rain that some areas are experiencing.

    More information is available on the DVSA test website and Twitter feed and we will be monitoring the situation for our students who have upcoming driving tests.

    Merry Christmas  -  01/12/2019

    At Banstead School Of Motoring we'd like to wish eveyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..

    It's been an exciting ans scusessfull ear for us here at Banstead School Of Motoring. We wish all of our students current and forthcoming al of the best at this time.

    Drive safe, and we'll see you soon

    DVSA Examiners say goodbye to clipboards  -  28/11/2019

    Successful learners will receive their full driving licences quicker as driving examiners start marking the car driving test digitally, DVSA has announced today.

    Driving examiners are using tablets to mark the driving test digitally as part of a phased roll out. A specially developed app is replacing the clipboard and pen. 

    Shifting to the paperless test report will mean learners will receive an electronic summary report of their test that they can review with their instructor, pass or fail, to discuss which areas of their driving could be further improved.

    Driving in the cold this winter  -  19/11/2019

    Driving in the ice and snow this winter.? Here's some great advice from the Met Office:…/season…/travel/winter-car-kit

    DVSA Motorway survey for new drivers  -  09/10/2019

    From January 2020, DVSA plans to survey newly qualified drivers to find out:

    • If they took motorway driving lessons
    • Whether practising on motorways helped to prepare them for a lifetime of safe driving

    We do offer Motorway lessons at Banstead School Of Motoring, just ask one of our instructors for details.

    Learn in a Manual or Auto  -  01/10/2019

    Should i learn to drive in a manual or Automatic Car? See this interesting article from Admiral Insurance.…/should-i-learn-to-drive-in-a-manu…