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driving standards agency
learner driver
driving instructors
roundabouts
road users
car parks
The Disparity Of Nottingham Driving Test Centres
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What are the Differences Between Driving Test Centres in Nottingham?

There can often be major differences in the driving demands of routes provided by test centres. Some may require the bay park manoeuvre to be demonstrated whereas some may have a more complicated road system to deal with in the the general drive. Let's look at the differences between Nottingham's two driving test centres.

The bay park manoeuvre can only be included on the driving test if the test centre being used has it's own car park. This means the manoeuvre is not included where test centres can only provide on street parking. If this manoeuvre is one which the pupil has difficulty with then it is unfair that it be included on the syllabus at some centres and not at others.

Chalfont Drive test centre has no car park so the manoeuvre is not included. Colwick MPTC, a much more modern building with purpose built facilities does include it on test. Test centres frown upon driving instructors using the car park for practise so other areas must be found. The problem is that most car parks that are divided into bays are on private property such as supermarkets and pubs who also will not allow driving school cars to practise in case a customer's car is damaged. The end result is many driving school cars trying to use the same small car parks which is annoying to local residents and a major source of complaints to the DSA. Surely practise facilities should be provided by the driving standards agency test centre if they include this manoeuvre.

This does not occur at Chalfont Drive test centre but other problems do. The test area contains two major multi – lane roundabouts and a four lane roundabout. Pupils will often have problems reading road markings, signs and anticipating the actions of other road users so the task demands on the roundabouts are very high indeed. Much harder than those of Colwick MPTC. Many more lessons would be required for a learner driver to pass in this area making it more expensive and less attractive to pupils. For people who live near the area this is unfortunate as longer lessons would be required to reach Colwick test centre. So it's a case of more lessons here or longer lessons there, adding to expense. Local knowledge is an important factor when dealing with multi – lane roundabouts. Someone from outside Nottingham would find it much easier to pass their driving test at Colwick than Chalfont without the benefit of local knowledge, making it the best choice for pupils who have had their driving lessons in other cities.

Finally, hills and narrow streets. Colwick MPTC has these in abundance. Steep hills with no view past the apex and streets with cars parked both sides are a serious challenge to learners especially if they are driving a larger training vehicle. Tight clutch control and accurate steering are essential in these areas so if a pupil has difficulty with car control skills then this is not the test centre for them. Chalfont Drive tends to have wider roads with better zones of vision.

When giving driving lessons in Nottingham it is important that pupils skills are assessed and the correct test centre chosen. If driving instructors in Nottingham have a pupil who can reach either area easily then they should discuss this and decide together which one to go for.


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