RESIDENTS have blasted driving schools for ‘ruining’ their village peace.

Councillor Julie Slater says she has been inundated with complaints of learner drivers practising in residiential areas of Hoddlesden.

She said: “Ever since the driving test centre moved to junction 4 of the M65, we’ve had problems.

“There’s a lot of shift workers in the Glenshields area who are being woken by cars revving in the cul-de-sac as they reverse and practise parallel parking.

“The learners are also using Bayne Street outside the primary school, which causes problems at dropping off and picking up times.”

Parents and residents abide by an unwritten one-way system but the learners do not and the road gets blocked.

Darwen instructor Phil Jones said part of an official test route went through Hoddlesden.

He added: “Instructors will want to familiarise their students with the route and any weird layouts there might be. There’s always going to be controversy when a test centre moves, but people have to learn to drive.

“Students are not trying to annoy residents or other road users – in fact it’s probably one of the things they’re most worried about.

“It is legal for them to use the roads to practise, but instructors should be courteous to residents and not keep going along the same road over and over.”

A spokesman for the Driving Standards Agency, which operates test centres, said: “The DSA encourages driving instructors to teach pupils to drive on a wide variety of roads in order to give them as much pre-test driving experience as possible.

“Complaints about instructors over-using roads should go to”

The £2million multi-purpose driving test centre opened in Commercial Road, Darwen, in 2009.