Ipswich one of the best places to learn to drive and pass test, says survey
PUBLISHED: 11:42 05 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:42 05 September 2020
Ipswich is one of the fastest places in the country to go from learner driver to passing your test.
A survey of driving test centres around the UK has found the borough has the third best record in the UK for learners going from novices to full licence holders.
Driving tests in England resumed in July after the lockdown but there is a backlog and the online booking service for new tests was taken offline just days after re-opening on September 1.
The survey, by the Local Driving School instructors group, analysed government data to establish the ratio of learners per driving instructor, the average number of test cancellations and the pass rate between April 2019 and March 2020.
For the Ipswich centre, in Wentworth Road on Ransomes Europark, there were just over 146 learners per instructor, giving a pass rate of 60.3% and with an average of 20 cancellations a month.
This was bettered only by Taunton in first place and Poole in second. Also making the top 10 were Norwich in fifth and Chelmsford in tenth.
Clacton was the next best in Suffolk and north Essex, ranked at 26th with 120 learners per instructor, a pass rate of 52.4% and a cancellation average of 10 per month.
Next was Colchester, ranked 36th with a pass rate of 42.8%, also 120 learners per instructor, and an average of 32 cancellations a month.
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Lowestoft was ranked 135th, with 137 learners per instructor, a pass rate of 44.4% and nine cancellations a month.
Lastly, the Bury St Edmunds centre in St Andrew’s Street North, came in at 137th with 146 learners per instructor, a pass rate of 38.8% and an average of 14 cancellations.
Greater London was the worst area in the UK, with nine of the top 20 slowest areas to learn to drive. Tottenham was the overall slowest place to learn, with 539 learners per instructor resulting in huge waiting times for lessons.
Speke, near Liverpool, was the worst outside of London.
Claire Davies, marketing manager at the Local Driving School, said: “Rural areas generally have lower populations, so have a more favourable instructor to learner ratios, resulting in more one on one time with less waiting time for lessons.
“Quieter roads also result in fewer unforeseen hazards, so fewer incidences where learner drivers can fail their test.
“In more densely populated areas, there tend to be fewer instructors available and much more traffic and road hazards, which can lead to both longer waiting times and a lower pass rate.
“However, if you plan to regularly commute and drive in a city environment, learning and passing there will prepare you for your daily drive more effectively than learning rurally.
“You may however get your test sooner in cities, as there tend to be more cancellations in built-up areas.
“Certain areas strike this balance perfectly, such as market and county towns like Ipswich, where a 60.3% pass rate combines with a ratio of 146.1 learners to driving instructors to reduce the waiting times for learners.”
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