DRIVING instructors are facing huge loss of income following the disruption of services – despite the introduction of a range of Covid-19 safety measures.
Driving lessons and tests were able to resume in July after a worrying period for the industry.
It has been a turbulent time for many since then, but the threat of lost income remains a significant risk.
Freelancer Mo Hussain, who runs Mo’s Driver Training, said: “The past few months have been very busy for us, with a record number of enquiries.
“Many students are looking to make up for lost learning time or are looking to get a driver’s license instead of using public transport.
“Driving instructors must implement many safety measures, such as calling or texting students before each lesson to ask if they had symptoms of Covid-19 or if they had been around someone who had had Covid-19 or symptoms.
“If the answer is yes, classes are postponed and fees waived.”
Prior to each lesson, contact points are wiped down with antibacterial wipes, both instructor and student wear face masks, hand sanitizer is available, windows are kept open to maximize ventilation, and return from lessons is given outside the car.
Mo said, “The pandemic has certainly had a significant impact on learners, as many students had to miss months of learning and could not find test availability before leaving for universities, and many students had to pay hundreds of pounds to renew their university bus. past.
“In addition to financial constraints, missing classes for many months slows learning progress in some cases.
“In my more than 20 years as a driving instructor I have never faced anything like the Covid-19 pandemic before and I hope we don’t in the future, but I really appreciate that myself and other instructors are so lucky to have a job when a lot of people are struggling.
Grace Burnett and her twin brother Tom, 17, learned to drive with Mo.
“Coronavirus has delayed the process of receiving a provisional license by several weeks,” Grace said.
“Also, since most instructors have been full with returning students, there has been no room for new students who want to learn to drive.
“Fortunately, Mo managed to sign me up for one lesson a week, but I still need to get temporary driver’s insurance on my mum’s car so I can fit in as many hours of driving practice as possible.
“I feel really safe during my driving lessons because precautions are always taken to ensure the safety of the students.
“There are things like wearing a face covering and keeping the windows open a bit for ventilation as well as sanitizing the area and hands before and after each class.”
Tom added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on my learning efforts.
“It’s because I had to start my classes, I had to start my classes five months later than originally planned.
“Although classes were able to continue in July, my provisional took several months to arrive due to reduced staff and an increase in applications.
“I feel very safe during my lessons. My instructor, Mo Hussain, goes above and beyond to ensure he takes every precaution possible throughout each lesson.”