Adrian's Blog

Big Learner Relay 2017


Raising funds for BBC’s Children In Need appeal

What is the Big Learner Relay?

Now in it’s fourth year, The Big Learner Relay is a 15 day event featuring driving instructors from across the UK joining together to raise money for BBC’s Children In Need appeal.

The concept is to relay a top box (the kind that driving instructors have on the roof of their cars), from one driving lesson to another, followed by a convoy of other driving school cars, travelling around England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  

The relay starts in Belfast on 1st November, and finishes in Knowsley Safari Park on Friday 17th November - Children In Need night.

The Route!

On offer from each instructor will be the opportunity for a student to take part in the relay lesson. I am offering:

Thursday 9th November: 

  • 1.15pm Macclesfield Flower Pot pub to Congleton
  • 2.00pm Congleton Tesco to Crewe
  • 3.00pm Crewe Alexandra FC to Stoke FC

If you would be interested in taking part please ask me for more details.

How will we raise the money? . . . Sponsorship!

During the last three years the Big Learner Relay has raised over £250,000 for Children In Need!

My car will be adorned in coloured spots, and I will be asking pupils to kindly sponsor and sign a spot!

Your family and friends can also donate in the following ways:


Text “SPOT64 £3” or more (!) to 70070

All donations gratefully received!


Tiger Crossings

If you're driving around Bournemouth, then look out for their first parallel crossing, which gives cyclists and pedestrians equal priority when crossing the road.

First introduced in London, the "Tiger Crossing" has now been brought to Bournemouth, with plans to create another one in the town next month.

The crossing, which comprises a standard zebra crossing with a separate parallel strip for cyclists, has been installed in Poole Lane, near LeAF academy.

Linking a well-used footway and cycle path, it also features ramps to force traffic to slow down around the area.

Tiger crossings are a variation of crossings used in Hong Kong where they were painted yellow and black - hence the name!


Dark Winter Nights - Volvo Life Paint

With the dark winter nights here, Volvo have come up with a unique product to improve visibility for those driving at night.

They have developed “Life Paint” which is being promoted to cyclists.  It is available from Volvo car dealers, and simply sprays on their bike and clothing. The spray is invisible in daylight, until car headlights shine on it making the Life Paint light up bright white. 

The best way to survive a crash, is not to crash.

Volvo Life Paint

Big Learner Relay 2015

On Sunday 8th November my pupil Tom and myself joined instructors and their pupils at Manchester City FC, and joined in The Big Learner Relay convoy to Manchester United FC.  It was fantastic to see so many faces all supporting BBC’s Children In Need.


On the next day Monday 9th November my pupil Molly and myself led a convoy of instructors and their pupils from Northwich, via Knutsford, to Macclesfield.  We were very lucky keeping the convoy intact as we drove through all the roundabouts and traffic lights! 


Below are some views from the back of my car as we lead the convoy in the rain through Knutsford for Macclesfield!  What a brilliant fundraising experience! Thank you to everyone who has supported Children In Need.


After 15 days, 2,800miles, 180 lessons, finishing with a 57 learner car convoy in Swindon, on Children In Need night we handed over a cheque for a massive £87,207 !!!


Spotty car

My new car's gone all SPOTTY for the Children In Need Big Learner Relay!! 

Please help us raise funds by sponsoring a spot, and text "PASS65 £3" (or more!) to 70070.  Thank you.


Children In Need 2015

I am honoured to have been asked to be part of the Big Learner Relay for Children In Need in November. I am the LEAD CAR from Northwich to Macclesfield, on Monday 9th November at 11am. Please come along and join in the excitement, and send us off with a great big wave and cheer!

Generic White

Someone loves you, drive with care

Signs, like this one, are being used in roadworks near Gloucester. Instead of the regular signs, which can be ignored, these “emotional intelligent” signs are designed to catch your attention, make you think more and drive with greater care for others.  I wonder when we’ll see them on the North-West’s roads?


I’m now “Mobile Friendly"

After many hours of work, my website is now officially “mobile friendly” according to Google! 

It will now display differently depending on what device it’s being viewed on: Mac/PC, Phone, or Tablet.  Let me know of any issues and I’ll get my webmaster (me!) on to it. 


Traffic Calming

Beautiful weather, and no wonder people are enjoying cycling along the country lanes. Loving the new “traffic calming” signs in the village of Kettleshulme in Cheshire!

Kettleshulme Driving Lessons

Top 10 driving test facts

The driving test’s been going for more than 75 years - here are a few facts:

  • Mr Beene was the first person to pass the driving test in 1935: he paid the grand total of 7/6p (37.5p) to take the test
  • there were no test centres in 1935 so you had to arrange to meet the examiner somewhere like a post office, train station or town hall
  • the test was suspended for the duration of World War 2 and didn’t resume until 1 November 1946
  • in 1975, candidates no longer had to demonstrate hand signals
  • the theory test was introduced in 1996, replacing questions about the Highway Code during the practical test
  • driving was much more hazardous 75 years ago, 7,343 people were killed on Great Britain’s roads when only 2.4 million vehicles were in use - in 2008, 2,538 people were killed with 26.5 million vehicles on the road
  • candidates could book their theory test online for the first time in December 2001
  • the pass rate in 1935 was 63% compared to 46% in 2009
  • 1969 saw the first driving test set for an automatic vehicle
  • since 1935 more than 46 million tests have been taken
Driving Test 1935

© Adrian Lord 2009 - 2018