A DRIVING instructor has spoken of her relief as she welcomed back some of her learner drivers for the first time this week.

Nationally, the DVSA has built up a backlog of around 420,000 test cancellations as a result of coronavirus restrictions. 

Driving lessons started again on April 12 with driving tests due to start again on Thursday. It means after almost a year off, some learners may have to get themselves test ready in 10 days.

Samina Mahmood, who runs Sam’s Angels, said she was overjoyed for her team and her patient learners.

She said: “Driving instructors have had almost a year off which really hit learning to drive quite hard. We have been telling new starters to book their theory test straight away because what we don’t want is for people to get to a certain standard and then they need to book their test.

“It could take two or three attempts and the process will just get longer and longer and if they have that theory test certificate it will speed the whole process up.

“For learners, it has been a long year of chopping and changing bookings and tests. The delays have led to waiting lists of five months for test bookings.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

An estimated 70,000 learner drivers who have already passed their theory test face having to take it again due to the delays caused by the pandemic. 

The rules say you must take your practical test within two years of passing your theory test, but both lessons and tests have been cancelled for most of the past 12 months and there is now an eight-month waiting list for practical tests.

Sam said: “The theory test certificates couldn’t be extended. Some pupil’s theory certificates have expired and they will have to re-sit the test.”

Despite the wait Sam said she could not be happier to be back on the road.

She said: “Things certainly changed a lot for many people during the lockdown and we had to get used to a new routine.

“A driving licence changes a person’s life and we love being part of their personal journey that allows them to progress.”