Automatic Driving Lessons
The DVSA no longer publish driving test routes and haven’t since 2010. They stopped doing this because candidates were using a strategy of memorising test routes rather than learning to drive properly. However, here are some valuable tips on the test routes in the Bletchley area.
The secret is being confident you can understand the complex features on roads today. Make sure your driving instructor gives you lots of practice on a variety of roads and road conditions - if that’s not happening then find another driving instructor! The Driving Test Centre for Bletchley & Milton Keynes is based in Wilton Avenue, Bletchley and this is where your Driving Test will start and finish. The Driving Test will last around 40 minutes
You will be taken on various types of roads and conditions: fast roads (like dual carriageways or rural), town driving (like Bletchley high street) and residential roads. You will encounter various features: roundabouts, junctions, mini roundabouts, pedestrian crossings, width restrictions, speed bumps etc. etc. and if you go through Bletchley high street, more hazards than you can shake a stick at! The examiner will ask you to pull up and move off on several occasions (on the flat, close to a parked car, on a hill etc.) to check that you can do this safely. You will do one manoeuvre and maybe an emergency stop, plus a 10 minute independent drive where you may be asked to follow roads signs or be given a series of directions. The examiner will pull you up and explain what he/she wants you to do.
The driving test is not difficult but it is very easy to fail it in the blink of an eye with one bad decision. Essentially, it’s a 40 minute slice of the real world and what is assessed is that you, as the driver, can make safe decisions to whatever you encounter in that 40 minute slice. It is a real drive in the real world and you are assessed on your ability to make real, practical, pragmatic, safe decisions in that real world drive.
It is not rocket science to figure out that if you start and finish your Driving Test at Wilton Avenue with all the pulling up, explanations and a manoeuvre, you will be on the move for about 30 minutes. So that’s about 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back. So how far can you go in 15 minutes from Wilton Avenue?
The area you will drive in stretches roughly from Whaddon in the West (update: The Whaddon route is no longer used because house building has closed off the road), Newton Longville in the South, Caldecote & Simpson in the East and MK Railway Station in the North. In that area there are about 15-20 Test Routes. [See the picture at the bottom of this page for a map of that area].
Experienced Driving Instructors that operate in this area regularly, know these routes intimately. Some will concentrate lessons only on these with the idea you just need to memorise them; those that do this are not working in your best interest. You may well pass your test, but if you drive outside MK you may be totally out of your depth, putting you and your passengers at risk.
However, good driving instructors will give you opportunities to practice many different features in different areas. Sometimes I take clients to Bedford (on 2hr lessons); other times I might take people to Olney, Northampton, Wolverton & Stony Stratford. Of course we spend quite some time and focus on the complex features around Bletchley. Understanding different complex features is far more valuable than just memorising test routes!
So what are the complex features you are likely to meet on a driving test in Bletchley? For me, there are four very difficult features that drivers always struggle with - and not just learners:-
Understand these features and the Driving Test Routes are easy.