Residents fed up with L-drivers

Published on: 05 Oct 2014

learner drivers

IT was once a quiet residential area. And then the driving test centre moved into town.

Now residents living around Page Park say their lives are being made a misery with the constant stream of learner drivers practising manoeuvres outside their homes.

Roads affected include Hillhouse Road, South View, North View, Burley Crescent, Burley Grove and Gerrish Avenue.

Problems started when the driving test centre moved from the Kingsway in St George to Station Road, Kingswood.

Since then residents have had to contend with increased traffic, dangerous driving and blocked roads.

North View resident Matthew Withers, 44, said the roads are part of the driving test route so attract driving schools from across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. 

“At certain times of the day you can have at least four or five cars going up the road within minutes of each other and this happens again five or 10 minutes later.

“It’s not so bad when they are just driving by but the problems are caused when they are doing three-point turns or reversing into a parking space.

“You have to wait for them to finish before you can pull onto your drive. They wave you on but you you think, ‘No, hang on, I live there and want to get to my house’. It’s really frustrating.

“This is a fairly new estate with lots of families so you get a lot of children going to and from the park and school. It’s really busy and dangerous.”

Mr Withers, a business consultant, said two of his cats had been run over outside his home.

“It wasn’t directly the result of learner drivers but having all the learner drivers on the roads means the roads are that much busier and this is when accidents happen”

One South View resident, who asked not to be named, said: “They’re blocking up all the roads around here. You don’t just get one or two; it’s continuous. On weekends it’s horrendous - you could have up to a 100 learner drivers going up and down your road doing manoeuvres.

“You have people trying to visit the park at the same time as learners are doing three point turns in the road. Then the buses and other cars can’t get up the road because they’re being held up. They reverse around the corners and park in front of your drive so you can’t get in or out.

“It’s dangerous - we’ve seen learner drivers go in to other cars. I’ve driven behind someone who has actually mounted the pavement on the other side of the road. If anyone had been there, they would have been a goner.

“It’s not the poor people learning to drive who are to blame; it’s the instructors, who ask them to do manoeuvres in places that are just dangerous.”

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said: “As a local authority, we do not have any formal powers to intervene as this is a matter for the local test centre and individual driving schools to address. However, local councillors and council officers are working with the test centre to try and resolve the situation in Staple Hill.”

A spokesperson from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said: “We have asked driving instructors that use Bristol, Kingswood driving test centre not to overuse certain areas for giving tuition and practising manoeuvres. We also display notices in the waiting area of the test centre to reinforce the message.”

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