Monthly Archives: September 2015

Learning to Drive Numbers Dramatically Increasing

shutterstock_24392302

Read here how all of the latest stats from the DfT appear to be suggesting that “Learning to Drive” is becoming a bit more fashionable once again

Earlier this week I was invited to re-visit one of the local schools, Bourne Grammar School for my annual road safety talk to 170 Yr 12 pupils. I opened with the same question that I asked the year before, “How many of you expect to be learning to drive in the next year or 2?”. Last year, the Head of 6th Form and I approximated just less than 50% of hands going up. This year, almost 100% of hands flew up in the air. A crude assessment granted, but nonetheless very real.

The DVSA are using this recent upturn as a reason for the extreme waiting times at some Driving Test Centres.   According to the ADI JNC the DVSA have apologised for the delays saying that more people are taking lessons, more examiners are retiring and more 20+ year olds are taking driving tests. According to DfT stats the latest available data for Apr-Jun 2015 is suggesting the number of practical driving tests conducted being 7% up on the same period last year, and theory tests even higher at 10%.

Having been following this data for several years now, I’ve noticed it has been generally accepted that the downward trend in numbers learning to drive in the UK was being replicated globally. There was a global downturn in people learning to drive that could possibly reflect the global economic troubles, but the question was also being raised as to whether the lifestyle choice of independent travel was being turned down as people favoured public transport options.

I will continue to monitor both UK and global data on this interesting subject, and see whether this upturn in UK data is just a sign of UK economic “green shoots” or whether the trend is global.

BIG-TOM-Chosen-Black

www.bigtom.org.uk

Read more →

 

Driving School in Bourne – weekly update 25/09/15

Your local Driving School in Bourne gives you all the motoring info around your area…

 

  • A16 was closed due to an accident involving a tractor towing a trailer and a car. Accident happened between McDonalds and West Marsh Road – an air ambulance, fire engines, police and other ambulances attended.
  • Despite a continuing yearly downward trend of casualties on Peterborough roads, Peterborough is still in the bottom quarter for local authorities. DfT figures put last year’s cost of accidents on Peterborough roads at £33.4 million
  • Two people were flown to hospital after a nasty accident on A1 southbound nr Foston involving a Land Rover and van. The Land Rover had crossed over on to the northbound carriageway.
  • LCC and Kier are currently recruiting for drivers to drive gritters throughout the winter (01933 376376)
  • Carlby Parish Council presented with data from local Speedwatch initiative that indicates that a “significant proportion” of vehicles travelling through village are exceeding the speed limit.
  • Success for campaign to get off-road parking approved by SKDC in Stubbs Close, Dyke. Although the work to be carried out had previously been approved in 2006 it was never carried out. Local residents have been campaigning on the road safety issue for 5 years.
  • Spalding based company Gist presented a road safety talk specifically on lorries to KS2 pupils at Morton Primary School, giving practical examples using a company lorry for pupils to sit in the cab.
  • Extensive roadworks on Stamford Road in Market Deeping create significant congestion with 4 way traffic light system.
  • LCC bags over £50,000 in parking ticket ‘profits’ – 3150 tickets in Stamford, 2778 in Grantham, 183 in Bourne, and 70 in Market Deeping.
  • White Audi A1 was stolen from outside the home address in Oak Cresent, Bourne.
  • BIG TOM Driving School in Bourne attended Bourne Grammar School to give road safety talk to 170 Yr 12 students including a driving simulation exercise involving 20 volunteers.
  • Bin lorry crashed into a ditch on B1040 near Crowland for reasons unknown, injuring 3 workers, 1 seriously – air ambulance attended.
  • 25 yr old from Rippingale remanded on unconditional bail until October for driving offences of failing to stop for Police in Folkingham, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and without insurance.
  • Tallington Parish Council places order for 6 passive speed signs
  • Rev Bryan Apps visits Bourne Motor Racing Club 8/10/15 at Corn Exchange, Bourne.
  • Two car accident on Ramsey Road, Kings Ripton resulted in both elderly occupants (84 & 77 yrs) of one of the vehicles dying.
  • Harlaxton Rd, Grantham was closed again for 4 hrs after yet another lorry struck the bridge.
  • 14 metre long skid marks show severe braking of tractor heading northbound on North Road, whilst attempting to stop for Father and Daughter crossing zebra crossing near Beaufort Drive, Bourne, walking to Bourne Academy.
  • King’s Dyke level crossing on A605 and Winsover Rd crossing in Spalding were blocked for an hour due to barriers being stuck.
  • No bail warrant issued for male driver from Grantham for failing to stop for Police, and using vehicle without insurance.
  • 47 yr old male from Woolram Wygate, Spalding found guilty of failing to give driver ID fined £745 snf 6 points on driving licence.
  • The crossing on the A1 between northbound and southbound carriageways at Great Ponton was scene of a near miss when local press witnessed a lorry attempting to cross blocking the southbound carriageway forcing vehicles to slam on brakes. Only a few days before this, a white van careered off the A1 into a garden after a collision with a lorry. Cameras are planned for the stretch of A1 in 2016.

 

BIG-TOM-Chosen-Black

www.bigtom.org.uk


Read more →

 

Bourne Mechanic Comes To Rescue

emma pass

Read here how mechanic from Bourne Nigel Petler from NP Autos Bourne Ltd (01778 440891) helped to ensure a driving test in Grantham was still able to go ahead!

Big congratulations go to Emma Martin from Bourne (shown here with her driving test pass certificate) who has passed her driving test in Grantham today on her first attempt with BIG TOM Driving School (0800 689 4174 ), having taken driving lessons in Bourne.

Little did Emma know that the driving test very nearly didn’t go ahead at all! Tom discovered that “Rosie” (who is the BIG TOM Driving School car) had a flat tyre first thing this morning! But Nigel from NP Autos Bourne Ltd was able to accommodate a tyre repair, despite his already busy schedule for the morning, and in doing so, got “Rosie” up and running again, and ready for the driving test.

For anyone who is intending to use their own car for their driving test, it is worth knowing that any vehicle that is used on a driving test must be in a condition that would pass an MOT service; tyre pressure/tread, cracked windscreen, brake light out, and any number of warning lights that might flash up on the dash are definitely worth sorting out BEFORE attending for the driving test. There are also some makes/models of cars that are not allowed to be used for the driving test, and some that have known faults. Take a look HERE for a list of current “recalled” vehicles with known faults.

Having said all of this, even without the knowledge of all this activity first thing this morning, the driving test still had to be passed, and Emma did a great job at passing the driving test in Grantham on her first attempt with only 5 driving faults.

BIG TOM Driving School     Bookings: 0800 689 4174

BIG-TOM-Chosen-Black

www.bigtom.org.uk

Read more →

 

Grantham Business uses BIG TOM Intensive Driving Course in Grantham

lloyd pass

Read the story here, how BIG TOM Driving School helps local Grantham business Harlaxton Engineering Services, skill up one of their employees, Lloyd in just 4 weeks with the BIG TOM Intensive Driving Course in Grantham.

The Grantham business booked up a 30 hour Intensive Driving Course in Grantham for Lloyd (shown here) on 17/8/15. They made use of the driving test booking service offered by BIG TOM Driving School which takes the stress and inconvenience of trying to find a driving test. Lloyd passed his driving test exactly 1 month later, on the 17/9/15, on his first attempt. The total cost of the 30 hour intensive driving course which included the test fee of £62 was £986.

Veronica Burnett (Legal Officer) at Harlaxton Engineering Services said:

“Fantastic work Tom.  I would be very pleased to endorse any recommendation for the service you have provided and we would certainly utilise your services if the need arises in the future.”

BIG TOM Driving School wishes Lloyd all the very best in his driving career, and looks forward to being of assistance to other Grantham businesses in the future.

Bookings: 0800 689 4174

BIG-TOM-Chosen-Black

www.bigtom.org.uk

Read more →

 

Driving School in Bourne – weekly update 18/09/15

Your local Driving School in Bourne gives you all the motoring info around your area…

 

  • Firefighters in Peterborough are raising funds for charity by dragging a 12 tonne fire engine through the streets tomorrow (Saturday 19/9/15)
  • Grantham man of 37 yrs pleads guilty to failing to provide a breath specimen to Police. Having been arrested for a public order offence, an accident was then reported to Police involving a car, the keys for which were being hidden by the male but discovered by Police. At court, his defence made claims of the male suffering from diabetes and severe depression. Disqualified for 36 months, 6 month community order, and costs of £250
  • Male in his 20’s is in critical condition after driving into a tree on Oakham Road, nr Whissendine
  • 2 Air Ambulances, a solo paramedic and a double crewed ambulance assisted in a serious accident between cyclist and car on Bridge End Road in Grantham. Both cyclist and car had been travelling out of Grantham towards Somerby Hill roundabout.
  • BIG TOM Driving School in Bourne announces availability of intensive driving courses in Sleaford
  • Number plates were stolen from a mini parked up in a residential area in Deeping St James.
  • Reports of suspicious vehicles seen late at night on farmland in Edenham – residents told by Police to remain vigilant.
  • Thornhaugh Parish Council records several incidents of motorists not complying with 20mph speed limit within village.
  • ‘Black box’ telematics technology was successfully used by a newly qualified driver to prove that he had not been illegally parked in a car park in Grantham for 7 hrs and 25 mins as was claimed by the private company who had instigated the fine.
  • 2 motorbikes in Paston, Peterborough were deliberately set alight.
  • A prolonged heavy downpour caused extensive flooding of homes and roads in Grantham.
  • Police unit set up in September 2012 to prosecute hare coursers in Lincolnshire is disbanded.
  • 20 yr old Marine from Caythorpe drives into a telephone pole due to drink driving and is disqualified for 24 months and £785 costs.
  • Vintage and Classic Car, Van and Motorbike Show at Long Sutton is a big success with 650 visitors.
  • £600,000 study will be undertaken to explore the options of improving the southbound stretch of A1 from Peterborough to the M25.
  • The average speed cameras located on the A52 bypass between Grantham and Boston have reduced collisions by over 55% and casualties by over 70% since they were introduced 5 years ago. A success story for the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, and has now led to a similar system being installed on the A15 near Metheringham which goes ‘live’ on Monday (21/09/15)
  • 24 yr old male driver was reported to Police by his girlfriend after she knew he was driving having been drinking alcohol. The driver was pursued by Police driving at up to 70mph through Grantham Town Centre and 100mph on the A1. A parked up Audi was damaged in the process. In court, it was disclosed that the driver had mental health problems. Jailed for 12 months, banned from driving for 3 yrs, and must take an extended driving test.

 

BIG-TOM-Chosen-Black

www.bigtom.org.uk


Read more →

 

Driving School in Bourne – weekly update 13/09/15

Your local Driving School in Bourne gives you all the motoring info around your area…

 

  • 19 yr old female suffered serious injuries after her bike collided with a van on the A15 Market Deeping bypass.
  • 83 yr old male involved in moped accident last month in Woodnewton nr Peterborough, dies in hospital.
  • Road closures in Swineshead resulted in green bins not being collected in village.
  • 36 yr old from Peterborough given 12 week prison sentence for driving while disqualified, suspended for 12 months, 100 hours unpaid work, £80 fine and 6 points on driving licence.
  • 39 yr old male from Kirton, driving with no insurance – £1268 fine and disqualified for 6 months.
  • Essential maintenance work on Exeter Street, Bourne starts 21/09/15 for 2 weeks – road closes between West St mini-roundabout and Exeter Gardens. Minor disruption for BIG TOM Driving School in Bourne.
  • 1 lane of A1 southbound was closed nr junction with A43 after a crash between lorry and car.
  • 47 yr old male from Oakham pleads guilty to failing to stop after an accident. Fined £225 and got 5 points on his licence.
  • Work begins next week on the long awaited Grantham bypass. Phase 1 includes a new roundabout off the B1174 and a new section of road westwards towards the A1 along Tollemache Road.
  • FOI request reveals 675 more parking tickets than same period last year issued in Grantham town centre streets – generating £22,186.59 revenue as compared to £480 last year.
  • 3 vehicle crash in Fengate, Peterborough results in 2 drivers being hospitalised.
  • MP Stewart Jackson is on list of 26 other MPs who had expenses debts written off after failing to pay them due to a £7.50 parking ticket.
  • Level crossing barrier at Whittlesey Road, March are stuck in down position, police advise motorists to avoid area.
  • A huge fuel spill resulted after 2 lorry crash on A14 westbound nr J36 and J34 – long road closure.

 

BIG-TOM-Chosen-Black

www.bigtom.org.uk


Read more →

 

Private Driving lessons in Bourne

This blog talks about the pros and cons of being able to have private driving lessons in Bourne in your own car when learning to drive.

Here is Alex Woods from Morton, in his brand new Hyundai i20 – a rather swish car I’m sure you’ll agree? He started driving lessons in Bourne with BIG TOM Driving School (Bookings: 0800 689 4174 ) as an absolute beginner having never driven before.

He has had 18 hours of driving lessons with his driving instructor before his Parents bought him this lovely new car. He has now started private driving lessons with his Mum but realised that he was having problems parking up.

As such, today he has had another 2 hour driving lesson in Bourne with his BIG TOM driving instructor, but as you can see, driving his own car now rather than the BIG TOM driving school car, so as to start looking at the manoeuvres for the driving test, and for real life driving too.   Having had a chance to try a variety of different types of manoeuvres, he now feels confident to continue his private driving lessons with his Mum.

There is a lot to be said for this approach that Alex is taking. Making use of a driving school car initially means that the learning experience is safe, calm, and Alex has the assurance that he can safely make mistakes without there being serious consequences. Making mistakes in this manner is a fabulous way to learn. As his ability and confidence increases he is now beginning to take private driving lessons with his Mum. As long as safety is not compromised, this is a very good idea. It really does not help if you start taking private driving lessons too early; it can be very stressful for both parties, as well as endangering the safety of everyone around them. In addition to those negatives, what can also happen is that rather than using private driving lessons to reinforce and practise the good and safe driving techniques learnt with your driving instructor, what can happen if you start them too soon, is that those techniques have not been properly learnt yet, and therefore instead of reinforcing good driving, instead, poor technique creeps in, and even worse, starts to become habitual as they are further repeated, going unchallenged on private driving lessons.

Alex is now contemplating taking his driving test in his own car, and that again, has some very real advantages to it – as ultimately that will be the car he is going to drive once he has passed his driving test.

So in this blog I have tried to weigh up the positives and negatives of taking private driving lessons when learning to drive. The responsibility for the safety of everyone is one consideration, but equally important is “owning” the learning process so that you feel that you are making good quality progress, in a learning environment that is enjoyable for all. If you don’t have a sense of controlling how you are learning to drive, then you may be less inclined to acknowledge and enjoy the responsibility and pride in the outcomes. It’s a delicate balancing act, and one that with experience, I would advise you don’t rush into too soon.

If you have any questions on the subject of private driving lessons, please ask away.

BIG TOM Driving School   Bookings: 0800 689 4174

BIG-TOM-Chosen-Black

www.bigtom.org.uk

Read more →

 

Driving School in Bourne – weekly update 4/09/15

Your local Driving School in Bourne gives you all the motoring info around your area…

 

  • Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue continue their successful charity car washes at Tesco in Cherry Holt Road, Bourne on Saturday 19/09/2015 from 10am
  • Peterborough Classic Car Show on embankment, Peterborough this weekend from 10.30am (5/6 September)
  • Holbeach Community Bus service could close after lack of volunteers (first reported here http://www.bigtom.org.uk/driving-school-in-bourne-weekly-update-090815/ )
  • Urban Panel from Historic England warns traffic congestion is ‘strangling’ Grantham. Full review on www.historicengland.org.uk/content/docs/committees-panels/urban-panel-review-paper-grantham-mar15.pdf
  • Delays of 2 hours on Frank Perkins Parkway, Peterborough after 2 vehicle crash at the A605 flyover – no injuries.
  • Another serious accident on A1 (northbound) near slip road with B1174 Great Ponton. Two young males from Grantham suffer injuries.
  • A606 near Langham closed after car and van collision – minor injuries.
  • New average speed cameras on B1091 Peterborough Road in an attempt to improve safety for pupils at Stanground Academy.
  • 35 yr old female left with serious injuries after crashing a Porsche into a lamppost on A16 in Wyberton nr j/w Tytton Lane East.
  • 6 hour closure of A605 at Cardea (near Amazon depot) after a lorry overturned.
  • Young child was involved in a serious accident in Sutton Bridge involving a Nissan x-Trail – air ambulance called .
  • Stamford Round Table hosted another very successful car show at Stamford Meadows.
  • New zebra crossing outside St Anne’s Primary School in Harrowby Road, Grantham gets the full thumbs up from local residents and parents of pupils.
  • IPCC are actively seeking witnesses to fatality involving 62 yr old male driving blue Nissan Micra that hit a wall in Stamford (as reported in last weeks blog http://www.bigtom.org.uk/driving-school-in-bourne-weekly-update-290815/ )
  • White box van full of confectionary overturns on A52 nr to The Gap Inn at Muston – driver sustains limb injury.
  • Peterborough City Council have recently changed the flow in King Street in Lolham from 2-way to 1-way only amid safety fears. “No entry” signs have been erected and motorists warned that there will be prosecutions.
  • 27 yr old female resident of Grantham found guilty of driving vehicle with no insurance or MOT, also carrying 3 young children who were not wearing seat belts. Fined £855 and 6 points put on driving licence

 

BIG-TOM-Chosen-Black

www.bigtom.org.uk


Read more →

 

Bourne Fireman Passes Driving Test

liam pass

Bourne resident, Liam (seen here) passed his driving test at Grantham today with just 3 driving faults.

He had tried the driving test previously, but came over to BIG TOM Driving School and passed it on the first time of asking. Liam is a very busy chap with his Chef job and his fireman response duties at Bourne, Lincolnshire, and learning to drive was becoming a necessity to get to places with his tight schedule. He was getting frustrated with not being able to pass the driving test, and joined BIG TOM in an effort to get his much needed driving licence.

BIG TOM Driving School has plenty of history of helping busy, professional people just like Liam, get the results that they badly need to get on with their plans. As Liam is now in possession of his driving licence, he is now looking at furthering his plans in the RAF – we wish him all the very best of luck …. and many years of safe driving.

BIG TOM Driving School   Bookings: 0800 689 4174

BIG-TOM-Chosen-Black

www.bigtom.org.uk

Read more →