If you’re learning to drive, your confidence and skill will improve by going out on the road with a fellow driver in between your lessons.
A good driving lesson route needs to take in both large and mini roundabouts, traffic lights and busy roads. You should also keep an eye out for quiet suburban roads, where you can practise your manoeuvres.
The following two driving routes in Ilford, Essex, have both been routes used for driving tests in the past. They are challenging, but if you get to know them, they are great preparation for the test.
Start at Goodmayes Driving Test Centre. Drive to the end of Kildowan Road and then turn left on to Goodmayes Road, where you’ll eventually come to a set of traffic lights. Ensure you indicate left before turning on to High Road. Further down this road, you’ll come to a roundabout; take the second exit on to Cameron Road.
There will then follow a number of turns: right on to Ley Street, the fourth left on to Hamilton Road, the second right on to Ashurst Drive and the second turning on the left on to Hatley Avenue. Always remember to observe the MSPSL driving routine when turning into new roads and ensure you stay in your ‘half’ of the road.
Turn left onto North Cross Road, left on to Campbell Avenue, right on to Ashurst Drive and then left on to Eastern Avenue, where you’ll come to a number of traffic lights in succession. At the third set, turn right on to Aldborough Road South.
Then take the third turning on the left on to Meads Lane. Now you’ll come to a couple of roundabouts in quick succession. Keep your composure, remember to slow down into second gear and try and anticipate. At the second roundabout, turn left on to Meads Lane, then left on to Elgin Road.
At the end of Elgin Road, you’ll come back on to Cameron Road, after which you’ll arrive at your final roundabout. Successfully traverse this and you’ll end up on Seven Kings Road. Turn left on to Felbrigge Road; drive to the end of this road, then turn left on Granton Road before ending up back where you started on Kildowan Road.
For the second route, you’ll also be starting at Goodmayes. Follow the same steps as the first route, but when you get to the end of Granton Road, turn right on to Green Lane. Then take a second left on to Woodstock Gardens before turning right on to Breamore Road.
Take the third left on to Gyllyngdune Gardens and then the second right on to Egerton Gardens. Both of these roads are ideal for practising the ‘reversing around the corner’ manoeuvre, as well as parallel parking if you can find two parked cars ideally spaced.
At the end of Egerton Garden, turn left onto Water Lane, where your residential tour of Ilford will continue. At the end of Water Lane, turn right on to South Park Drive, then left back on to Green Lane.
You’ll then reach a fairly busy roundabout; you’ll want to signal right, move into the outside lane and turn right on to Winston Way – ensure you indicate just before leaving the roundabout.
On Winston Way, you’ll come to another two roundabouts, before turning on to Chapel Road. Bear in mind that this is a one-way street.
Keep left as you drive down Chapel Road and turn left onto Romford Road, before turning left on to the A406 slip road, where traffic should be quite heavy.
Take the first exit at the roundabout onto London Road and at the next roundabout, turn left onto Longbridge Road. You’ll then want to turn left on to Goodmayes Lane, just after the C & R London Mobile Mechanic.
At the end of Goodmayes Lane, turn right onto Green Lane. Turn left onto Goodmayes Road and then on to Kildowan Road before returning to the Test Centre, where you can practise reversing into a bay.