Eye Roundabout in Peterborough

The following is the road layout for what is commonly known as Eye Roundabout in Peterborough, more precisely known as Junction 8 A15 Paston Parkway, A1139 Frank Perkins Parkway, Parnwell Way, Eye Road. My thanks go to Stuart Mounfield (Infrastructure Delivery Manager) of Peterborough Highway Services, Peterborough City Council.

This graphic gives you precisely the white paint markings on this very large, and busy roundabout (zoom in for full benefit). These type of “spiral” roundabouts are becoming more popular throughout the UK, and can cause some confusion to all drivers, let alone Learner drivers.

On the approach, make full use of scanning the traffic signs as well as observing the white paint. This will enable you to select the correct lane on the approach, which means that there will be no lane swapping on this busy roundabout, which can seriously spook other drivers around you.

Get used to approaching this from all entries, trying out all the different combinations, and you will find that with practise, your confidence will grow.

Here is a video of the roundabout, and there are also a few other versions, approaching in different lanes.

Any questions, fire away.

Roundabout Peterborough

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Driving Test in Peterborough

“Should I take the driving test in Peterborough in my car, or yours Tom?”

This is the question I was asked yesterday morning on a driving lesson in Peterborough. John who is a 62 year old ex-teacher, is fortunate to have access to his Wife’s car. He has a choice. He could take his driving test in Peterborough in his own car, or my driving school car.

driving-test-peterboroughI generally encourage these pupils who have access to a car at home, (with insurance cover of course), to take driving lessons in their car with a view to taking the test in it too. Whilst there are a few makes of car that the DVSA do not permit on test, generally speaking, the vast majority are fine. Just make sure it’s roadworthy (would pass an MOT), is insured for the test, has 2 “L” plates fitted and an additional mirror on the front windscreen for the examiner to see behind.

This advice might sound counter-intuitive coming from a Driving Instructor due to the loss of earnings as a result, but the truth is, it really is incredibly beneficial for a person learning to drive, to have confidence in the car they are driving immediately after passing the driving test.

Our driving lesson in Peterborough this morning is a classic example. We covered the following key skills:


•  How to know with confidence how close the car is to the kerb when reversing and pulling over
•  How to judge if you have enough power available in the car to enter a dual carriageway with varying lengths of slip road
•  How to judge whether the car is in the centre of the lane when you approach a multi-lane roundabout
•  How to recognise the correct timing for gear changes from 3 to 4 or 3 to 5.


The DVSA state that on average learners take 45 hours with a Driving Instructor and 22 hours private practise with friends/family to pass the driving test. In my experience, pupils who do have access to a car, tend to finish off their driving lessons with me accompanying them in their own car. My advice is to do all the things that you might reasonably be expected to do once you pass: McDonalds drive through, multi-storey car park, parallel park on the right side of the road, bay park in large, busy car parks, drive at night, drive to a location having to rely on sat nav and coming on/off a busy dual-carraigeway are a few to consider. How much of this you want to cover before passing the test, and how much you want to discover HAVING passed the test is a matter for you. It is statistically proven that more collisions occur in the period of time immediately after passing the driving test than at any other time in your driving life.

You should also spare a thought for the person supervising your driving. By law they must be 21 or over, and held a driving licence for 3 years and be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you want to learn in eg automatic/manual. But consideration should be given to risk assessing how they feel about the level of control they have/do not have. Planning of sessions is vital so that the experience remains technically of good quality, appropriate for the standard you are at, and develops your progress and confidence.

If you have any questions on this subject, whether you intend to take your driving test in Peterborough or not, feel free to contact me on info@BigTom.org.uk , I would be happy to assist.

Driving Test Peterborough

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Driving Lesson In Bourne

“Legally, what do you need to have in the boot of your car?”

warning shotOne of my pupils, who is Lithuanian asked me this question yesterday on a driving lesson in Bourne and the short is answer is “nothing”. You do not legally have to carry a spare wheel or it even be legal in terms of pressure and tread, contrary to what many people think. However, if you do need to use that spare wheel, it does need to be legally fit for use. This video gives an overview of my recommendation.

Here is a printable list of what I would consider essentials to carry round with you in the car:

•  First Aid Kit
•  Spare Wheel and accompanying jack equipment (check it is all there!)
•  Breakdown triangle
•  Fuel
•  Jump leads
•  Water
•  Money (in hidden place if needed)
•  Thermal blanket
•  Operators manual (tyre pressures, emergency breakdown contact number, insurance details, jack points)
•  Jackets (preferably fluorescent)
•  Basic set of tools
•  Torches
•  Mat to kneel on if changing wheel
•  Pair of gloves (hands can get greasy/dirty changing a wheel)
•  Phone re-charger
•  A-Z map
•  Rags

Whilst this might seem a lot at first glance, many of these items can be purchased for less than £10. I would strongly advise that you aim to gradually obtain these items as not only are you preparing yourself should an emergency arise, you can often assist others in need too.

 

Driving Lesson Bourne

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BBC 3 Barely Legal Drivers

sky_roadOne of my pupils on a driving lesson the other day mentioned “Barely Legal Drivers”, a series on BBC3 and started explaining some of the things she had seen in the last episode. Thinking that she must have been dramatizing her account of it, I took a look at the latest episode “Dom and David”.

In this episode a young lass by the name of Dominique is filmed displaying her complete disregard for road safety by reading texts while driving, swerving along a single carriageway road, and taking both hands of the steering wheel.

I see that the BBC has attracted some complaints by airing this series, and here is a reply from the BBC to defend their position.

It strikes me that there is a bit more to this than that reply deals with, and I’d be really interested to hear your views on this.

Firstly, what I saw Dominique doing on that episode is not “Barely legal driving”, it is illegal – illegal because it is by its very nature, dangerous driving. Since when do the Police ignore evidence that provides with such clarity, a known individual (in terms of being able to instantly identify) committing criminal offences?

But secondly, my main concern with this, is how this series might be perceived by new, young drivers. It seems to me to be glorifying that kind of driving. At the very least it is reinforcing that type of behaviour, either consciously or not, and by doing so, could well influence others who watch it, into believing “Oh right, if that’s what others are doing when driving, I guess it must be ok if I do the same”.

The influence of tv/videos on behaviour should not be under-estimated. This does not necessarily need to have a known, recognised effect on the mind. There is new evidence being discovered by the likes of Robert Cialdini that suggests, scientifically, that the effects of what we observe may actually be different to our initial predictions. He offers this ad about The Crying Indian which ran in the States decades ago, and generally regarded historically as a supremely effective ad to prevent citizens from littering. However, Cialdini who for those who do not know him, is highly regarded in the world of social psychology, is suggesting that actually, the scenes that you can see in the ad can have an entirely different effect on viewers. Where they see that litter is scattered everywhere, instead of deterring people from littering, can be perceived as reinforcing the behaviour as it is shown to be such a common occurrence – this is PRECISELY the opposite effect of the original intended message.

Personally, I think the BBC should pull this series with immediate effect on the grounds that not only are they recording individuals committing criminal offences in the name of “entertainment”, but also, the effects on some of the viewers who will watch this series, might unknowingly, reinforce that as being acceptable driving behaviour.

If you have a view on this, feel free to ping it down below.

EDIT: Have heard from Police today (21/05/2014) on my Twitter feed that Avon & Somerset Police Force is currently considering prosecuting any drivers from “Barely legal drivers” who have committed driving offences in their area. I will update this blog when I discover any new information.

Big Tom Parking Bay

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Bay Parking on Driving Lessons

How To Practise Bay Parking

Bay parking in car parks is very likely to be the most performed manoeuvre that you will need to do once you have passed your driving test. This video here, offers you some tips for different ways of doing bay parking, and how to practise them on your driving lessons.




This is a big subject, which many drivers (full licence holders included) have difficulties with. Please feel free to ask away with any questions.

Big Tom Parking Bay

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Reverse Parallel Park

Stages of the Reverse Parallel Park

This video shows you the stages of the Reverse Parallel Park. With practise this becomes more fluid and less mental effort is needed to identify the timing of each stage and to actually perform the necessary actions.




In general there are 3 key ingredients to this manoeuvre, and each one, is reliant on the other. If you were to miss out one of the following, it will affect the overall outcome:

• Speed – In order to give your hands (steering) and eyes (observations) any chance at all of doing their job while reversing, it is key that your left foot precisely sets the correct pace by fine adjustment of the clutch pedal.

• Observations – there are many places to look all around the vehicle, not only to assist you in accurately positioning your vehicle, but also to take account and be considerate to other road users including pedestrians.

• Accuracy – The accuracy of the end position of your vehicle, in relation to the parked car you are pulling in behind, as well as the kerb/verge that you are pulling up along is dependent on the speed and observations that you make.

As with the other manoeuvres, you can’t rely on simply staring at mirrors while reversing due to the “blindspots” in them that block your vision, as such, if your car is reversing, then physically turning your head to observe all around you is key for safety.

There are plenty of tips and techniques that can be used if necessary, so as to enable you to perform this manoeuvre consistently to a good standard.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to add them below.

Big Tom

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How to score from an intensive driving course minus the intense.

andy perkinsAndy took his intensive driving course in Peterborough and turned it all round quick smart.  He needed to be able to drive for his work, and as you can see below, he liked that the course had no pressure attached to it:

” I found learning with Tom to be very effective. He doesn’t pressurise you when you make mistakes and makes it a cool calm driving experience. I had very little driving experience when I started, and passed my test within 9 days, and I put that down to the way I was taught. Very effective and efficient service – much appreciated. Will definitely recommend to anybody. Bargain price too!”

Andy Graham (28) attended the “Beginners” Intensive Driving Course in Peterborough.

Driving Lessons

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Driving School in Bourne gets some Va Va Voom!

Here is the new driving school car!

Proving to be very popular already!  Big Tom Driving School in Bourne now has a new Vauxhall Corsa 1.4.  Take a look around it, you can almost smell it’s new!

Reece who is 17 years old from March took it for a no-obligation drive within 2 hrs of it being delivered, and immediately put down a £100 deposit on this driving course.

Hannah who is a 25 year old professional from Bourne, drove it all day yesterday in Peterborough and did not stall once – she now wants to buy one of them!


Specification includes:bigtom_car-2

•  1.4 petrol turbo
•  Stop/start technology
•  Automatic on/off windscreen wipers when it rains
•  Automatic on/off lights when it’s dark
•  Heated seats and steering wheel
•  Cruise control
•  Automatic anti-glare on the central mirror
•  Automatic indicator re-set
•  ABS
•  Air conditioning
•  Power steering

 

For a no-obligation test drive, ring 0800 689 4174 NOW.  Be warned, have your cheque book to hand, it will be a special moment!

Big Tom Driving School is based in Bourne, Lincolnshire, serving Grantham, Peterborough and Boston Driving Test Centres.

Driving Lessons Bourne

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More Work For Driving Instructors in Grantham

How to get more work for Driving Instructors in Grantham

Driving_instructors-granthamBig Tom Driving School has more work RIGHT NOW for Driving Instructors in Grantham.

Benefits include:

• Pupil booking service
• No franchise fee
• Optional workload
• No period of notice to serve
• Hours that suit you
• Option to decline work with no penalty

To start immediately earning with no further obligation text/call 0800 689 4174 to get directly through to Tom.  We have work for Driving Instructors in Grantham RIGHT NOW, so get in touch today for instant diary filling.

Driving Lessons Grantham

 

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Driving Lessons Near Me

How To Search For ‘Driving Lessons Near Me

file6301249314127When you tap in to your device Driving Lessons Near Me you will be presented with lots of information, and it can sometimes appear quite overwhelming. This blog will help you to properly understand that information and how you can use it for your purposes.

At the very top and bottom of the page you will see entries that are within a very lightly shaded background. Look carefully and you might notice the word “Ads”. These entries are paying Google for being on Page 1 for your search. As such, they will not necessarily be offering a service “near you” at all.

Carry on looking down the list, and you start to see what at first glance looks to be some rather obscure entries, often they will contain the words “Driving”, “Lessons”, “Near”, “Me” but in amongst other words. Therefore, you will not necessarily be getting the kind of results that you are after.

What to do.

• There are a couple of questions that will be useful to answer before going any further.
• Is it important to find a driving instructor who lives local to you?
• Is it important to learn to drive where you live, or where you will be tested?

A driving instructor who has to travel a distance to simply get to you because they do not live in your town, will have already incurred some cost (in time and fuel) before your driving lesson even starts, and that cost will be doubled once the driving lesson is finished. In that regard, it is good to find someone local to you. Also, local businesses tend to be more loyal to local customers, this is just a fact – reputation in a community is important. Big Tom Driving School for a long time has offered local residents in Bourne a really good deal to get them going on their driving lessons. So the answer is to search for driving lessons in your specific town.

For the second question, at Big Tom Driving School we very much believe in encouraging learner drivers to drive in a whole variety of driving conditions, not just driving test routes. So when you are on one of our courses in Grantham, you will get to drive to Peterborough, and vice-versa, because our ethos is “Drive more, to experience more, to learn more”. As such, it really does not matter where you live, a good driving school will be building your confidence and ability in driving in a variety of driving conditions and locations, not just where you live. There is more to this than simply considering – driving lessons near me.

For more information on important considerations on how to learn to drive, check out this video, it could save you heaps of time and money.

Driving Lessons

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