A driver training course which allows 10-year olds to get behind the wheel in a bid to create a safer next generation of drivers is to launch at the London Road Park and Ride in Ipswich.

Young Driver, which provides driving lessons for 10-17 year olds, will be running events at the venue from Sunday 3rd November. The car park will be transformed into a realistic road system on selected Sundays across the year so youngsters can work on a range of driving skills and manoeuvres.

The scheme launched at Bentwaters Park in 2018 but was unable to continue lessons at the venue beyond August last year and has been looking for a suitable location in the area since then. The scheme also runs at Newmarket Racecourse. 

Young Driver is the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons, having delivered over 740,000 lessons at more than 65 venues across the country. Youngsters have lessons in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas, with highly qualified approved driving instructors. A special road system is created, with traffic signs, roundabouts and junctions, along with special areas to practice manoeuvres such as steering control and parking. The emphasis of the lessons is on safety and encouraging youngsters to consider how to drive responsibly, giving them time to perfect the necessary driving skills without the pressures of public roads.

Four hundred people are killed in accidents involving young drivers every year in the UK. Shockingly, one in five newly qualified drivers crashes within six months of passing their test and only eight per cent of drivers are aged 17 – 24 and yet they account for a worrying 30 per cent of people who are killed in cars every year. But for those who have taken a Young Driver course, the rate of accidents in that first six months drops by more than a half, to fewer than one in ten.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “We are really excited to be re-launching in Ipswich, and this will be a great venue. It will provide plenty of opportunities for youngsters to try out lots of different driving skills and techniques – whether they’re a beginner or have already had a few lessons with us.

“The theory behind Young Driver is to allow young people to get to grips with the ‘under the dashboard’ elements of driving, such as gear changes, clutch control and steering, before they have to start worrying about interacting with drivers who may have been on the roads for years. Then, at 17 when they do get on the road, they can focus much more on the potential hazards on the road and other road users, rather than what to do with their feet. Research shows that training drivers over a longer period of time and catching youngsters when their attitudes towards driving are still developing is key to producing a safer driver.”

Driving tuition is available for disabled youngsters and Young Driver can also cater for birthday parties. Thirty or sixty-minute lessons must be booked in advance. Lessons start from £36.99.

Upcoming dates for Young Driver to run at London Road Park and Ride are 3rd November and 1st December.

For more information, to book a lesson or to buy vouchers visit www.youngdriver.com or call 0333 577 9010.

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