Image credit: Morton Lin on Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/
Across Salford, thousands of learner drivers have had to halt their education as lockdown causes driving lessons to be cancelled.
Since the start of the nationwide lockdown on the 5th November, all driving lessons and tests have been suspended.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) state on their website that theory and practical tests in England are ‘suspended up to and including Wednesday 2nd December’.
This suspension has impacted instructors and students across Salford.
Jacqui Mccrravey of ‘Let’s Learn School of Motoring ltd’, Cadishead said: “It’s been very stressful for my instructors working for driving school, all of us are self-employed and at the moment they are getting a small payment from the government, but I get no payment as I’m a ltd company.
“We are governed by the DVSA even though we do not get paid by them, but because they closed the test centre we were told we could not give lessons, which is very unfair as we cannot work from home and we keep our cars cleaned, we wear masks and cover the stay safe policy.
“What I don’t understand is we can go shopping, DIY shops etc but we can’t give lessons, we have a lot of students who have a test in December but we have not been able to give them lessons? And a lot of students have had their driving test cancelled and they are getting them rebooked by the DVSA in March and April.
“That’s even more money that they will have to pay out to get ready for the driving test again!”
When tests are able to open again, DVSA has put forward lots of safety regulations, some are explained below:
Patryk Bialkowski, a second-year University of Salford student, was supposed to be taking his test on the 9th November 2020.
He saved up and bought his first car on the 12th June 2020, in preparation for his test in November.
However, due to the lockdown restrictions, he now has to wait until the 21st January 2021 for his next test.
Mr Bialkowski, 20, said: “All my driving lessons have been cancelled due to lockdown, I think it’s quite annoying, especially considering I’ve bought a car and I can’t use it because obviously I can’t get my driving licence.
“This is like the second or third time it’s been cancelled.”
Our interview with Mr Bialkowski is below: