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Driving test hill start scrapped in East Anglia

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Driving test hill start

They make every learner driver nervous, but now hill starts are to be scrapped from driving tests in East Anglia – because there are no hills.

The DVLA made the announcement today after test centres across the region complained they were pointless.

Hill starts are an essential part of driving if you live up north, in Wales and Scotland, or in hilly regions of the south-west.

But as hills and mountains do not exist in Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, there is nowhere to practice – or use during an actual driving test.

No hills in Suffolk

Flat as a pancake: No hills in Suffolk

Instead, learners are taken to a road which normally has an uphill gradient no higher than four per cent, and told to move off without stalling or sliding backwards.

Not surprisingly, everyone passes with flying colours.

From August 1 this year, the driving test hill start will therefore be removed from the practical driving test.

A spokesman for the DVLA said: “It is unnecessary to carry out hill starts in East Anglian counties like Suffolk, where even the worst hills are more like gentle slopes.

“Therefore it will save money by not including hill starts in driving tests, and concentrate more on things like parallel parking and reversing.”

Motorists in other areas of Britain complained today this means young drivers from East Anglia will be unprepared if they drive into hilly regions – and there would be multiple accidents as their cars roll back out of control.

Brett Gilbertson, of Keswick in the Lake District said: “If inexperienced Suffolk drivers come here they will be unprepared for a proper hill. They will be stalling, rolling backwards and causing general chaos.

“It will only be a matter of time before our sheep, which have the freedom to go wherever they like, are run over. And if that happens there will be trouble.”

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