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Learning to drive is 'an on-going process'

New research shows nearly a quarter of young drivers in the north west have admitted to crashing their car after passing their test.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists says younger people simply don't feel prepared for driving on their own.

The Institute says the current system is failing the next generation of motorists, and is calling for a serious review.

Chris Hudson is an Approved Driving Instructor:


BikeSafe campaign launched in Cumbria

Cumbria Police have launched their annual BikeSafe campaign as the biking season begins.

The initiative has now been run by the force for a number of years and over the next six months, workshops across the county will educate motorcyclists and provide advanced training on road safety.

Workshops will provide advanced safety training Credit: PA

Workshops will be held in Kendal, Carlisle and Workington Fire and Rescue community centres.

Sergeant Jo House, Cumbria Police BikeSafe Co-ordinator, said:

“BikeSafe aims to bridge the gap between having a licence and getting structured training. Regardless of how much or how many years’ experience you have, there is always something to learn when it comes to staying safe on two wheels."

After passing their test 22% of young drivers crash

Nearly a quarter of young drivers in the North West have admitted to crashing their car after passing their test, according to research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

The report indicates that over a quarter of drivers aged 18-25 had broken the law during their first few years on the road.

Despite spending many weeks learning to pass their test, the majority of younger drivers in the North West feel that they need to improve.

Research from the IAM shows that:

  • One fifth of people killed or seriously injured in a UK road accidnet during 2012 were involved in a collision with a young driver
  • 22% of all accidents involved young drivers
  • Nearly a quarter of all car drivers who died in 2012 were young drivers

"This survey shows that younger drivers simply don't feel adequately prepared for independent driving. The current learning system is failing the next generation of motorists and there needs to be serious review. Early experience of a wide range of traffic conditions is vital but so is dealing with negative attitudes. This can be done most effectively through peer group discussions rather than just relying on stricter controls and curfews."

– Simon Best, Cheif Executive, Institute of Advanced Motorists

South West Scotland receive nearly £40 million YEI share

MSP Jim Hume welcomes a £38.6 million investment for a new youth programme in South West Scotland.

It is one of five areas in the UK to receive a share of money from the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).

"We know that long spells of unemployment at the start of a young persons' career can be damaging for years down the line. This new investment will make a real difference to young people in the south of Scotland and give them the best possible start to their working life.

"With UK spending being matched by EU investment this new initiative is another reason why Liberal Democrats are working to keep Scotland in Britain and Britain in Europe."

– Jim Hume MSP, South Scotland

The scheme provides funding to help young people aged 15-24 find work.

The total £170 million of UK government funding for the YEI will be matched by an equal amount from the European Social Fund and also by project partners, bringing the total funding to nearly £490 million.


Residents left out in the cold

The plan to reduce energy bills included using solar panels. Credit: PA

Tenants in Longtown who are angry about freezing homes and soaring energy bills will meet again today as protests build.

Residents say that Riverside Housing Association's plan to reduce their bills using solar panels has failed. Instead, they've seen bills rise, leading some to go without proper heating for years.

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