Lincoln to London – A Future Doddle?

trainAs you know, Tudor Driving School is based in Lincoln – a rather underrated place if we do say so ourselves. While we may not sport the hip appeal of some of Britain’s other cathedral cities, we do however lay claim to one a wonderful community drenched in proud historical culture. Anyhow, big news for the people of Lincoln as Virgin Trains East Coast services reveals their plans to implement a 2hr direct to London train by 2019.

Having proven fruitful in places such as Manchester, Virgin wish to broaden their service by ensuring that Lincoln receives the same efficient and breezy transport links enjoyed elsewhere. While it’s by no means a bullet-train, the route is a marked improvement on Lincoln’s current laborious London service.

The approval of this new service can be traced to three train operators who applied to The Office of Rail and Road throughout 2014 and 2015 to broaden the East Coast Main Line’s services. In fact, according to Lincoln councillor Richard Davies, a better Lincoln to London route was looking likely back in 2007 but unforeseen circumstances halted progression. Speaking to ITV, the councillor also mentioned:

Since then the council has continued to campaign for direct services to London. I personally wrote to Joanna Whittington, the interim chief executive of the ORR in March this year urging her to approve these services.” Followed by “I am delighted that the she has listened and has seen the value of these services not only for those travelling to London, but also for people elsewhere who want to visit and do business in Lincolnshire.”

Well then, let’s hoping everything goes smoothly! We’d love to see finer links in the area…

What do you think? Let the Tudor Driving School team know on Facebook and Twitter.

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5 Year Olds Behind The Wheel? Surely Not…

small car

5 year olds may soon be burning rubber!

The motoring industry may have changed almost beyond recognition over the past 100 years, but this could just be the oddest news to face the motoring press in some time. In case you’d missed it, ‘Young Driver’, a specialist car manufacturer based in the UK which also has a division teaching children aged 11+ how to drive. Having long placed emphasis on instilling the nature of road safety into their pupils, the Young Driver concept has been celebrated for its forward-thinking ethos.

At present, their lessons are only welcome to those aged 11 and over, with all lessons taking place specifically at their specially regulated venue tracks. Despite already seating children 6 years the legal junior behind the wheel, their ambition is to create a bespoke vehicle fit for those aged 5 – 10. Yes, children aged as young as 5 may soon be whizzing around their tracks… albeit at a top speed of 10mph!

Should all go to plan; the new vehicle will be implemented at specially selected tracks from their 40 UK training centres. One of the most intriguing things about this reveal is the car itself; what will it look like, what will it run on and how are they making it fit for a child? According to Young Driver, the car will run on two electric motors and feature the all-important disc brakes and independent suspension. In aid of safety, a smart system shall be installed which recognises dangers and potential collisions, this shall immediately stop the car should such an event arise.

The director of Young Driver Kim Stanton has assured the press that the car is most definitely not a toy, but only time will tell if parents feel comfortable letting their children hop behind the wheel. The team at Tudor Driving School shall certainly be sticking to adults for now!

What do you make of this news? Let the team know on Facebook and Twitter.

Party Like It’s 2002 – Top Gear Returns

So as you may have heard, the legendary and divisive motoring show ‘Top Gear’ is finally making its return to TV screens this coming May. Despite the drama that followed Clarkson’s dismissal in 2015, the BBC has good faith in its ability to revitalise the world’s most “widely watched factual television programme”. If the ‘laddish’ nature of the Clarkson era put you off, this welcome reinvention may just change your mind.

We’ve known for some time that Chris Evans would lead the new line up but the word on the grapevine is hardly promising. It is believed that Evans’ suffers from motion sickness and can’t drive and talk at the same time – surely they should have checked this first? No wonder the initial decision upset those looking to forget his 90s reign on TGI Friday. Alas, we’ll reserve judgement till broadcast…

So, who else is set to present the show?

new top gear

The next star revealed as part of the BBC’s hype machine was none other than former Friends’ goofball Matt LeBlanc who you may remember as Joey Tribbiani? A slightly baffling choice but hey, who knows – could be the best decision they’ve ever made!

As for the rest… well, here we go: Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, Rory Reid and of course, The Stig.

Quite the crowd! If you’re unsure who they are, read more over on Top Gear’s official site.

How do you feel about the upcoming reboot – will you be tuned in day one or waiting for Clarkson’s new project?

Let Tudor Driving School know on Facebook and Twitter.

Rev Up The Resolutions

SONY DSCIn case you’ve been in some kind of booze induced sleep since Christmas Day, you may have not realised its now 2016. The first week of a New Year is always a tough nut, especially for those looking to beat the initial hump that comes with another round of resolutions. What’s yours then? Drink less? Burp less in public? Heh… let us know!

Rather than raise the bar too high for yourself, why not set a handful of resolutions for your car?

We all have individual driving bugbears and some of those may even transpose to our own bad habits; for example, do you often forget to indicate? Take a moment to think about your time on the road recently and evaluate what irritates you… now think how much your own quirks may annoy other drivers. Anyway, before we get carried away let’s think of some resolutions you can actually apply to the vehicle itself…

  • Pipe Down the Fumes

photo_19200_20101230It’s easy to get complacent but it’s advisable to get your car serviced at least twice a year in order to cut down on emissions. This can be done via optimal oil changes, tyre checks and mechanical surveys. If you’re spending more at the fuel station than you’d normally expect then chances are you’re polluting more than advised!

  • Clear the Cash Crunch

It’s easy to get attached to our car but if it’s costing you more to maintain than it would to buy a more efficient vehicle then maybe it’s time to let go? Sell the car, use the money to clear any debts that it’s maintenance has caused you and then do some research into a more affordable and resilient vehicle.

  • Curve Your Road Rage

Think about your early days driving, chances are the pesky driver in front is just getting to grips with the road the same way we all once did. Be forgiving; don’t waste your energy on getting stressed out about minor inconveniences – it’s not worth it.

Do you have any driving resolutions you’d like to share with the team at Tudor Driving School in Lincoln? Feel free to drop by our Facebook and Twitter to comment!

Fancy Your Parents Sitting In? DVSA Do…

learner-driversIf you are a former pupil of Tudor Driving School or a hopeful learner in progress, how would you feel about having a parent sit in on your lessons? While we have indeed accommodated the supervision of parents in the past, some pupils may find it off putting or awkward. In a recent call to arms by the DVSA, the standards agency implore parents to sit in on their teenager’s lessons in order to retain “consistency” during out of hours family tuition.

This is actually a fair point and one which should be seriously considered if parents are willing to provide further tuition outside of the pupils allocated lessons. While all learners may follow the same guidelines, lesson plan and laws – all drivers are different and will develop their own quirks and habits. Some parents may have bad habits that subsequently rub off on their kids during tuition, so it makes sense that the driving instructor can demonstrate an appropriate teaching style to adopt.

tudorAs long as parents are respectful and simply act as passive observers, this shouldn’t be a problem. If a parent is present and begins interrupting or questions the teacher’s methods, this may cause conflict and hinder the pupil’s enthusiasm and learning style. DVSA’s main point is that driving instruction has changed considerably over the last few years and the “techniques required to pass the practical and theory tests have evolved”. This means that parents may be passing on knowledge from their lessons which are now redundant in modern driving tests.

The DVSA head of policy and registrar Mark Magee had this to say…

We need to get across the message that learning to drive is changing. It’s not about vehicle control, it’s wider aspects. Parents also need to understand what we’re trying to encourage ADIs (approved driving instructors) to do, so that they work with them and not against them and actually undo some of the work that’s being done.”

What do you think of this? Let Tudor Driving School know on Facebook and Twitter.

Clear The Fog With These Driving Tips

photo_789_20060111So then people, it’s a wee bit foggy out!

While none of us particularly relish the idea of driving through such fateful weather, more often than not our daily obligations refuse to be put aside. If you are planning on driving during the fog, we recommend taking the following tips into consideration…

  • Drive Slow

But not too slow… speed limits are there for a reason and if there was ever a better time to adhere to such guidelines, now is that time.

  • Lower Your Window

Not entirely, that would be a little too nippy for this time of year. Just be methodical here and lower it to eye level so there’s absolutely no risk of mist or condensation obscuring your view. This is particularly useful on dual carriage ways and the motorway.

  • Methodical Lighting

photo_430_20051109It may be tempting to go ‘full beam’ but you’re only going to further endanger other drives. Use dipped headlights at all times but don’t hesitate to whack on the fog lights should you need to. Other drivers will benefit from your lights as this allows them to better gauge their distance but try not to tailgate!

  • Avast Ye Misty Windows!

Ensure that you spray and wipe your windows thoroughly before setting off and turn on your demisters.

  • Communicate

photo_1017_20060206Depending on where you’re going, maybe let people at your destination the route you are taking and when you set off. It’s comforting for everyone to be in the know during times of increased risk.

Got any tips of your own? Let the Tudor Driving School team know on Facebook and Twitter.

Top 3 Films Featuring Driving Instructors!

There are countless movies out there which use cars as a central hook to get people sat in cinema seats but these are almost always about slick sporting classics, pimped out drag racers or a VW Beetle going bananas. If you think about it though, how many films do you see about learning to drive?

Surely every actor or person driving in a film had to learn at some point so hey, it should get more screen time. Here are our top three movies which actually bother to craft a script around driving lessons!

Though critics may have found it a little derivative of classics like Harold and Maude (i.e young lad falls for older woman, oh my!), this is a charming British comedy drama featuring great performances from a young Rupert Grint and the ever charming Julie Walters…

Mike Leigh is arguably national treasure and one of the best film writers and directors we’ve ever had. While some may find is transgressive look at social realism and occasional quirkiness a little off-putting, there’s no denying the consistency of his work. Happy Go Lucky stars Sally Hawkins as a free spirited optimist who seems to encounter misfortune and glumness wherever she goes. Her driving instructor (played quite terrifyingly by Eddie Marsan) steals the show here, offering an insight on how NOT to be a good instructor. Scary yet brilliant…

A recent addition to the list, this film brings together two souls with very different ideological backgrounds and cultures. Recently divorced New Yorker Wendy (Patricia Clarkson) and Indian Sikh instructor Darwan (played by the ever diverse Ben Kingsley) soon strike up an unlikely relationship that teaches more than just how to drive.

Do you know any films that include driving teachers as a key part of the plot? Let Tudor Driving School know on Facebook and Twitter.

DVLA Wipe Away Your Smutty Plates

modern plateCustom number plates have long been considered a divisive luxury among the public. While the proud owner of a fancy Porsche driving it around with ‘G33Z3R’ printed on his plates might think he looks the mutts nuts, most passersby will likely be muttering ‘what a prat’ under their breath.

A private number plate is kind of an exercise in tasteful vanity – you want to stand out from the crowd but at the same time you don’t want to look like an utter berk. Generally, the best private plates don’t take themselves too seriously and will ignite a genuine chuckle from onlookers. With that said, it has been reported that creative ‘filth’ has been making its way past censors at the DVLA with numerous drivers managing to get vague coded smut onto their car plates.

bell end

One of Clarkson’s ‘gags’

If you’re down with modern social media slang, you’ll no doubt understand what ‘WTF’ and ‘FML’ stand for, and apparently so do 70% of British drivers… except the DVLA. In light of countless crass plates slipping through, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency are now enforcing more stringent rules about the use of “any letter or digit combinations” that may allude to sexual, religious or booze related cheek. There’s also been considerable debate as to whether a custom plate affects the resale value of a vehicle but considering the plate can be changed by the next owner, we don’t see it being too much of an issue.

Did you know that the average price of a custom plate in this country is around £387? Have you ever considered paying out a wad of cash just to drive around a daft wee phrase on your car?

We are genuinely interested so go ahead and let Tudor Driving School know on Facebook and Twitter.

The UK’s Oldest Driving Instructor?

Picture - Wales Online

Picture – Wales Online

The stigma around working well into old age is slowly crumbling away and rightly so. Rising life expectancy, better healthcare and a socially liberal approach to vocational choice has allowed many people to pursue their talents well past the dreaded retirement period of old. One particular example the team at Tudor Driving School were delighted to see comes in the form of Laura Thomas from Pembroke Dock, West Wales. Having just turned 95, 2015 marks her 76th year as a professional driving teacher.

76 years – let that sink in for a moment. This marvellous woman has been instructing students to road worthy success through the governance of sixteen different prime-ministers, a world war and raising two children. The pathetic sexism that often greets female drivers is water off a ducks back for Laura who is said to have never experienced a driving accident in her 77 years behind the wheel.

So, does she intend on continuing her much loved status as the UK’s oldest driving instructor? Absolutely – in fact, Laura fully intends on joining the ‘100 Club’ which refers to people who continue to drive after reaching the centurion milestone. Teaching people to drive demands a patient demeanour and keen perception of immediate threats – safe to say, it’s not something the easily distracted need attempt. For Laura Thomas, it looks like she’ll be around as long as people need to be taught:- “As long as I feel like I can do it, and they want me I will (teach)”.

Considering how long she has been teaching locals, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Laura believes she has taught nearly all the qualified drivers in her hometown of Pembroke Dock with no student failing to pass after more than two tests.

Old school indeed – Tudor Driving School can only hope our teaching maintains its prowess and charm into such a ripe old age!

For more news please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Driving Test Blunders to Avoid

driving through desert foothillsWhile Tudor Driving School have become renowned for our superior Lincoln pass rates, there are of course exceptions and that is completely natural. Learning to drive is a daunting prospect but one we hope to guide you through with an empathetic and personalised approach. When people do fail their tests, it shouldn’t be considered something shameful but just another step towards a better life behind the wheel.

In any case, there are times when failure comes as a result of something daft or avoidable yet… oddly funny. Here are our top five funny reasons why would be drivers have failed their tests… (according to the internet!)

  • Check Your Boot(y)

Eyes on the road please, avert your vision from that sexy cyclist. Yes, people have actually failed in the past as a result of being distracted by attractive passersby. Is a few seconds of titillation worth failing your test?

  • Crashing

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We recently spotted a post on a forum wherein a student had failed their test immediately for crashing the test car… into the test centre. A fail doesn’t come any clearer than that.

  • Go Straight at the Roundabout

Don’t take this literally. Please.

  • What Country Is This?

Unbelievably it’s quite common for some drivers to accidentally fail by driving on the wrong side of the road. One case which was noted in a similar article stated her failure was a result of being “immersed in the culture” of France. *sigh*

  • Bad Habits

Careful who you overtake!

If you have had your parents or a friend take you out and teach you a few things in the lead up to your test, this can result in picking up long nurtured bad habits. Driving no handed, constantly changing lanes and sparking up a ciggie during your test… unfathomable in this day and age but people do it.

Do you have any driving test stories you’d like to share? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.