Rod Came Driv­ing in­struc­tor

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business -

I have been an in­struc­tor since 1981, when I left Sus­sex Po­lice. I stopped teach­ing learner car driv­ers about 14 years ago and now spe­cialise in as­sess­ing and train­ing minibus driv­ers for in­de­pen­dent schools. As these schools have been shut down for more than three months, I have car­ried out no work at all.

The Driv­ing &

Ve­hi­cles Stan­dards Agency, which is re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing the­ory and prac­ti­cal driv­ing tests for learner car driv­ers, shut down these op­er­a­tions at the start of the out­break and has not re­sumed even a skele­ton ser­vice for most learner driv­ers since then. This has re­sulted in an es­ti­mated back­log of 400,000 tests. Driv­ing les­sons for other than es­sen­tial clients were also ter­mi­nated. The re­sump­tion of such les­sons is of course wel­come news to all. How­ever, pre-lock­down, there were about 40,000 in­struc­tors – I ex­pect up to 25pc may have left the in­dus­try. Even a 10pc drop would hit learner driv­ers.

In­struc­tors must keep them­selves and their clients safe from in­fec­tion. Be­fore each client en­ters the car, it will have to be sani­tised af­ter the pre­vi­ous driver. These pre­cau­tions will re­sult in fewer les­sons per day, with added ex­pense. Many in­struc­tors will find that it is fi­nan­cially not worth­while.

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