A DRIVING instructor is urging the council to let learners practice bay parking at a Park and Ride.

The latest update for UK driving tests includes learners

having to practise driving forwards into bays in a public car park.

One of the issues becoming increasingly apparent is learners being fined or told to leave public car parks including Colchester’s Park and Ride, off the A12.

Mark Cole, chairman of the Colchester and District Driving Instructors’ Association, said: “Our members have had a

number of issues in recent months.

“The Park and Ride in Colchester doesn’t permit learner drivers to practise and some of our members have even received penalty charge notices while waiting for students in car parks owned by the Co-op.

“The main supermarkets have restrictions on returning within certain timeframes and the entire issue is becoming complicated and fraught with problems.

“While we cannot do much about privately-owned car parks, perhaps there is scope for both local government and national government to join forces relating to car parks owned by Essex County Council? The other alternative is to remove the forward park from the driving test altogether, something we would see as a retrograde step.”

He has invited members of Essex County Council to meet to discuss the issue further and explore a potential solution.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “The primary use of the Colchester Park and Ride service is to provide transport for paying individuals working in and visiting Colchester town centre.

“This is a busy service used by hundreds of people every day and, therefore, it would not be possible for learner drivers to safely use this space for practise.

“It would also not be practical for driving schools who wish to use the car park for only a short amount of time as anyone who doesn’t pay for being at site will risk receiving a penalty notice.”