Frustration as West Norfolk driving lessons suspended by coronavirus lockdown
A Lynn-based driving instructor has said she is disappointed but not surprised by the decision to suspend lessons and driving tests from today.
Caroline Simpson , owner of Caroline's Driving School, has reacted to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) announcement which means she will have to stop her work during lockdown.
She said the lessons have been as safe as possible during the pandemic period due to sanitising touch points between every driver, wearing face masks and keeping the windows slightly open for ventilation.
However, due to coronavirus cases rising , Mrs Simpson said the DVSA decision was inevitable, with lessons and tests suspended from Thursday this week.
She said: "Due to the close proximity to each other in a car, social distancing is impossible.
"Will we bounce back ? We are ready to start lessons as soon as the restrictions are lifted.
"I feel for the students that are having tests cancelled at short notice and we will obviously prioritise them as soon as lessons can start."
Another West Norfolk instructor Mervyn Jones also said he was not surprised by the decision and was disappointed for those who had to cancel at late notice.
He added: "I will be ready to start lessons as soon as the restrictions are lifted and getting pupils ready for their rescheduled tests."
Tom Hixon, head of instructor support at Bill Plant Driving School, said the industry was still catching up from high demand after the last lockdown was lifted.
He said: "We, as I’m sure many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of English learner drivers, are naturally disappointed to hear from the DVSA this afternoon [Monday] that driving lessons and driving tests will be suspended.
“We ask that all learner drivers stay in touch with their instructors throughout the upcoming national lockdown until December 2, and we can only apologise for the inconvenience and disruption.
"But of course, it’s important that we all follow the latest government guidelines so that we can slow the spread of Covid-19 once again.
“Thousands of driving instructors within England now find themselves unable to work as of Thursday for the duration of the national lockdown, and we will be working closely with our franchisees to support them, as we did last time."