Stop Lines on Driving Lessons | Peterborough

Where are stop lines on Driving Lessons | Peterborough

You will come across plenty of traffic lights that allow pedestrians to cross, and they have a solid white stop line.  Sometimes it can be very tempting to stop at what you believe is a red light for you, when in fact it is not!

The first example I have is on a driving lesson in Peterborough here in Lime Kiln Close, Peterborough (just near the bingo hall).

With the bingo hall behind you, let’s say we are going to turn right.  Your traffic light goes green, you being to turn right, and you are met by a red traffic light in the new road.  The temptation is to stop for the red light.  However, that light is actually a secondary light to stop the traffic on the road you have just joined, it has nothing to do with you.  The clue is that there is no solid white ‘STOP’ line in front of you.

Take a look at this video for a similar situation in a driving lesson in Grantham.  Avoid the temptation to stop if the secondary traffic light goes red in front of you… there is no “STOP” line.

Two very real examples on driving lessons in Peterborough and Grantham.  Any questions on this, please add it below.

Driving Lessons Peterborough

Driving Lessons Peterborough

Read more →


Big Roundabouts | Peterborough

Big Roundabouts in Peterborough

The biggest roundabout in Peterborough is where the A15 & A1139 meet up, it’s locally called “Eye roundabout”.

Big roundabouts will feature on your BIG TOM intensive driving course in Peterborough (01733 306 016 ).  Whether a driver is young, old, experienced or just passed the test, the fact is, most drivers do not like them.  I want to offer a golden tip for dealing with this roundabout. But first, let me describe why it’s causing so much attention.

It has 5 entries/exit points, and 4 lanes actually on the roundabout, so it is big. It is so big in fact that there are traffic lights on it.  It is a spiral roundabout which means the idea is to let the white paint on the roundabout do the work for you, you just need to be in the correct lane (more on that in a second).  It connects up two busy dual carriageways in Peterborough so although it has 40 mph speed signs on the approach, most drivers ignore this fact. So we have some key ingredients here… speed, volume of traffic, many options to exit, traffic lights, several lanes.

Sometimes it helps to consider things in terms of what you and I can control and what we can’t. In this example, we can control our speed on the approach and in many respects that is the key about this roundabout.

Once you approach in the correct lane for your intended exit, STAY IN THAT LANE. Resist every urge and instinct to switch lanes, it is a “spiral roundabout”, and one of the rules with these is that you stay in lane, the white paint will naturally filter you out to your exit.

But it will only do that, if you have picked the correct lane to start with! And this is why this roundabout catches so many people out, old or new drivers, it matters not, if you do not PLAN this roundabout, you will get caught out.

So my tip for you: watch this very short clip and see with your own eyes what I mean about lane discipline.

To any Learners reading this, remember this. If you were to decide to follow the path taken of the vehicle in front of you, and it cuts across the white lines on the roundabout, so you do too, you are very likely looking at a test fail. I know that sounds unfair because the driver in front did the same fault but let me tell you why. The reason why is because this spiral roundabout in Peterborough is SO busy, that in all likelihood there will be traffic around you while you are driving across the whites lines that split up the lanes, and those drivers around you will be spooked by your lack of attention to position in the road.  As I said on a recent blog for Grantham, it is better to safely take the incorrect exit than force yourself into a different lane in an unsafe manner so as to get the correct exit.

I have a whole playlist on big roundabouts here, hope it helps you.

 If you have any questions on big roundabouts in Peterborough, ask away, I guarantee you will not be alone in asking your question, so you will very likely be benefitting other people by asking the question.

Read more →


How roadworks affect driving lessons in Grantham

How roadworks affect driving lessons in Grantham

Roadworks are causing heaps of congestion on driving lessons in Grantham right now, and I want to just share with you how this affects you when you take your driving test in Grantham.

Firstly, any serious roadworks will have their own traffic controls which normally (but not always) consist of traffic lights and a red sign saying “STOP HERE when the red light shows”. The sign is placed on the road just before the roadworks, and normally it is placed correctly. If it is too close to the roadworks though, and you then stop alongside it, you can easily find yourself blocking/obstructing oncoming traffic (particularly HGV’s). So just be mindful of this, and better to pause short of the sign than past it.

Secondly, an advantage of planning well in advance where you intend to go is that you can use traffic signs AND white paint on the roads to ensure you get yourself in the correct lane. These roadworks are causing a lot of stationary traffic to block the view of paint on the road, so make sure you fully use the info given on traffic signs eg Town Centre, A52, Newark, Station, A1 NORTH. Remember though, it is better to safely take the incorrect destination than get into the correct lane for your intended destination but be unsafe in the process. Safety trumps destination every day of the week – and that includes when on your driving test too.

Lastly, any major roadworks that close roads are nearly always accompanied by yellow ‘DIVERSION’ signs, do give yourself time to fully appreciate where that directional sign is sending you off to, make sure it is safe to proceed before you commit to it.

All this congestion can mean your driving test in Grantham is a little longer than the planned 38-40 minutes, the test this morning was 45 minutes in total, I have known one last 55 minutes due to roadworks.

Driving lessons Grantham

Driving lessons Grantham

Read more →


Driving lessons In Stamford Pinfold Lane

Know Pinfold Lane in Stamford?

Get more from your driving lessons in Stamford by continually developing your driving skills with steadily increasing challenges. There is a fine balance to be struck between finding new, interesting journeys that offer stimulating and challenging conditions and overloading the driving lesson in Stamford with too steep a learning curve.

A practical example of this would be Pinfold Lane in Stamford. It’s that cheeky little connecting road between Uffington Road and Priory Road.  Now that is a road that offers much for developing ‘planning’ skills.  It catches many experienced drivers out who are not properly assessing the ‘pinch points’ due to the parked vehicles that are always in that very narrow, tight road. Get this kind of road wrong and you will be upsetting many other road users.

So a road like Pinfold Lane does have its uses, but it must be introduced to a new driver at the right time. Much of learning a new skill is a delicate mix of providing the opportunity for theoretical and practical practise.  It is very easy to knock confidence and learning momentum by trying to do too much too soon. At Big Tom Driving School we like to maximise learning, and make our customers feel good, feel like they are improving, making progress.

Pinfold Lane does have a place in driving lessons in Stamford, but like many things in life… it’s all in the timing as to when you experience it!

 To discover 3 practical tips for learning to drive in Stamford, simply text “Stamford” to 0800 689 4174 NOW! 

Driving Lessons in Stamford

Driving Lessons in Stamford


Read more →


Learning to drive in Grantham

Is taking driving tests similar to taking exams?

Comparing learning to drive in Grantham with taking exams at say Kesteven & Grantham Girls’ School is missing a key point. The driving test in Grantham will be fluid and unpredictable whereas an exam is rigidly structured.

Consider pot holes and roadworks in Grantham – these are examples that are popping up all over the town (check this Facebook page  from the Grantham Journal for the latest).  You can’t seem to take a single driving lesson in Grantham without stumbling across them.

But this is precisely the point.  Your driving test in Grantham is not going to be “sterile”, there will be events that crop up that require instant assessment and judgement skills.  Unpredictable events involving buses, cyclists, pedestrians, van drivers, taxis, after all, this is what real life driving is all about yes?

Your driving test in Grantham bears no resemblance to your exams.  The key is to develop confidence in nurturing these important life skills in driving of assessment, judgement, planning and anticipation.

An Intensive Driving Course in Grantham with Big Tom Driving School provides you with AT LEAST 40 hours of driving experience, not in classrooms chatting with groups of people about the theory test, actual driving experience.  The comprehensive package at £1200 comes with a guarantee of free training if you fail the driving test.  Look what Nicole from Grantham says about her welcome pack having signed up to learning to drive in Grantham just 2 days ago:


“Hi Tom,

Sorry I missed you this morning. I have just checked my emails as I have been out all day. Thank you ever so much! All the resources you have provided me with at the moment seem like they will be a great help.

I have liked your Facebook page as I am definitely pleased I have found your driving school.




“Drive more, experience more, LEARN more”.

Text “GRANTHAM” to 0800 689 4174 to find out more about learning to drive in Grantham.

Read more →


Theory Test | Peterborough | Grantham

Help with Theory Test

Yesterday a Chinese Translator in Birmingham started a 12 month prison sentence for some ground breaking customer service!

He was apparently charging his customers to translate for them when they took their Theory Test, in fact, he was prompting them with the correct answers amongst his translation…. this scam netted him over £100,000 (which is now being recovered).

There are many ways of ensuring you pass it without the need for such drastic actions. Not least, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency allow you to practise for free, see HERE . In addition, most reputable Driving Schools will include full support for theory test study.  My customers get free access to DVSA DVD’s on the study material and the hazard perception test, it is simply a standard benefit on my Intensive Driving Course in Peterborough or Grantham.

The cost of the Theory Test is £31 and the waiting list varies between Test Centres, click on this link for further details.

BLOG EDIT 10/04/2014: The DVSA have now placed more restrictions on the use of translators.

If you have any questions about booking the Theory Test or how to pass the Theory Test, just comment below and I will be happy to assist.

Theory Test

Theory Test



Read more →


Book a Test Drive

Try Before You Buy

I recommend that before you commit yourself to any driving lessons in Peterborough or Grantham, you book a test drive with your intended Driving Instructor.

This is not only a sensible request, but it is also a good test of how keen the Driving School is to assist you.  There are many benefits in taking the time to book a test drive.  You get to see the driving school car, how clean is it, how good is the range of vision out the windows, does it smell, will you be happy driving in it.  Not only that, but by booking a test drive you also get a chance to see the Driving Instructor, check out their appearance, how approachable they are, how keen to help you, even do they have bad breath!

Might seem silly at first to you, but when you consider you will be spending 20-40 hours with this person, in that car, then these things are important!

Any customer of Big Tom Driving School is offered a chance to see the car, and sit in the driver’s seat, without any further obligation.

Maximise the learning on your driving lessons in Peterborough or Grantham and book a test drive NOW!  Text “test drive” to 0800 689 4174 and we will call you straight back with a date…. easy!

Book a test drive

Book a test drive

Read more →


Change driving test date

How To Change Your Driving Test Date

This blog gives details of how to change the driving test date, this is important to know because some driving test centres have a 2 month waiting list (and more), and that is not too convenient for most people. The beauty with knowing this is that you can initially book up a test slot with the DVSA, in the knowledge that when you have completed your course of driving lessons, it is possible to arrange a more appropriate date.

My customers on their intensive driving courses use the following service all the time, it really works. Remember, you cannot book up your practical test until you have passed the theory test, as part of the process is to provide your pass certificate number.

So once you have passed your theory test, book up your practical test (I’ve put a link for that on another blog). If it then turns out that you are test ready much sooner than your test, you can pull the date forward by either ringing 0300 200 1122 or online via this link 

If you check my Facebook page out, you will see one of my customers recently did precisely this, and within half an hour of calling the number pulled her test forward more than a month!

The reason you are able to change the driving test date in this way is because someone else has cancelled their test for whatever reason, and you have taken their slot. These cancellations come up all the time, all the time! You will very often get a result with a little patience and perseverance.

This is a free service available to everyone and requires no special authority to do it. I hope that has taken the mystery out of how to change the driving test date. You can change it up to 6 times maximum, and you must provide 3 clear working days notice if you are changing it to a LATER date rather than pulling it forward.

Change the driving test date

Change the driving test date

Read more →


School Crossings on Driving Lessons Bourne

Dealing with School Crossings on Driving Lessons in Bourne

You are likely to come across School Crossing Patrol Attendants in your driving lessons in Bourne as the 2 primary schools have them, and the new one in Elsea Park may well have such plans too. The law regarding this subject is very clear, and as you can see from this, the consequences for drivers breaching this are very real.

I have asked Stephen Saunders who does a superb job on one of the school patrols at Bourne Abbey CofE Primary Academy to give his perspective on the day to day problems that he experiences. Take time out to read the following, because getting into the habit on your driving lessons in Bourne of considering your actions from others’ point of view is a good driving habit (follow me on @tukkr for more #gooddrivinghabits). My thanks go to Stephen for his valuable contribution to road safety in our community, and for taking the time to provide us with the following:


Hi! My name is Steve and, as a School Crossing Patrol working in Bourne, Tom has asked me to write a few lines giving my personal perspective on road safety as it applies to highways in the vicinity of our local schools. Most importantly, I would say that, for general road safety information, I would draw your attention to the excellent advice provided by my employer, Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership on their website, which can be found here.

This is a valuable resource for all the county’s road users and emphasises the importance Lincolnshire County Council places on the safe use of our roads and streets for everyone. Now, having worked in this role for over three years, the main issue of concern to me has been one of visibility. I cannot stress too much the importance of maintaining good visibility in the area of school crossings, for the safety of pedestrians generally and of young children in particular. Many school crossing points are protected by yellow Zigzags on both sides of the road as part of the School Safety Zone initiative, and are located in the immediate vicinity of the crossing point. It is paramount that vehicles should not stop, even briefly, in this area of the highway. A parked or immobile vehicle here hides young children from the view of other motorists and can obstruct the line of sight of school crossing patrols. In the case of a large vehicle, it can obscure the whole crossing and the patrol to speeding motorists. Parents in a hurry can be tempted to stop and allow children to alight in the vicinity of school crossing points, particularly where adequate parking is an issue in the area of schools. This is an extremely dangerous practice which should be resisted – it puts both their children and other young ones at risk of serious injury –or worse.

All road users are required to consider the consequences of their actions when in control of a vehicle. When those actions could endanger the lives of children even greater care should be taken and nowhere is this more important than around our schools.

A second, related, issue is that of parking generally in the vicinity of a school. Where there is limited parking available parents should consider that, even if parked ‘legally’, (i.e. not on chevrons, double yellows or in restricted parking areas) congestion in the local area can impact on the safety of school crossings. Where traffic becomes congested and forced to queue across a school crossing point, it can cause a visibility hazard in the same way than if the vehicles were parked. I would therefore ask all motorists (and that includes you, parents!) to park responsibly with due attention to safe parking practice. Don’t contribute to traffic congestion in the neighbourhood of your local school.

Lastly, pedestrians should always consider themselves as road users too. They also have a responsibility to contribute to the safety of our roads and this is particularly appropriate for parents and carers of young children when on ‘the school run’. Children are excitable and unpredictable; parents should keep their children under close supervision at all times when using the highway. Don’t assume, just because there is an attended school crossing point that children do not need to follow the provisions of the Highway Code. Children should always be encouraged to act safely and within the rules of the road, especially when they are old enough to cycle or use their scooters. Children should be taught to follow the directions of the school crossing patrol when travelling to and from school and to be aware that their own safety is also their responsibility. Kids are never too young to learn this valuable lesson!

It just remains for me to thank Tom for the opportunity to give my thoughts on child safety and hope that this short piece provides some food for thought for motorists, pedestrians, parents and children alike. Last (but certainly not least!) I would also like to say a big thank-you to all the drivers out there who DO pay careful attention to child safety in the vicinity of our local schools – please keep up the good work!

Remember, with just a little consideration, and if we all work together, we really can make the roads safer for our children!

Driving Lessons Bourne



Read more →


Driving lessons In Spalding

Super charge your driving lessons in Spalding

Bring energy and enjoyment to learning to drive. Here is one tip to help you get more from your driving lessons in Spalding.

I’ve got a video for you to watch which I guarantee you will benefit from if you are learning to drive. I am so confident about that, that I will happily provide you with a free 1 hour driving lesson in Spalding if I do not deliver on that guarantee. One condition…. you MUST watch the entire video, but as it is only 8mins 48secs long, that is not bad wager yes?  You invest just short of 10 minutes of your time, and if I do not help you learn anything about Driving Test Results, you get a free driving lesson in Spalding.  Ready?  Here it is……..

Spalding is flat enough, don’t let your driving lessons become flat too!  For more information of boosting your driving lessons, text “Spalding” to 0800 689 4174 NOW!

Driving Lessons Spalding


Read more →