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Council's young drive programme celebrates win at first car awards

Council's young driver programme celebrates win at first car awards

02 May 2018
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Wokingham Borough Council’s young drivers’ programme Drivestart has been awarded ‘Best Partnership Scheme 2018’ at the First Car Awards. 


Drivestart is part of successful initiative ‘Safer Roads Berkshire’, that is a partnership made up of Wokingham Borough Council, West Berkshire Council and Windsor and Maidenhead Council.


The award was presented to Cheryl Evans, senior road safety officer at West Berkshire Council, who accepted the award on behalf of ‘Safer Roads Berkshire’ at the Young Driver Focus Conference. The ceremony took place at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London, on 25 April, in front of an invited audience from the motor and driver training industries.


The winners were decided by a panel of judges with broad and extensive road safety experience, including Adrian Walsh, director of Roadsafe. In all categories, the judges looked for schemes with clear and measurable aims and objectives and for evidence of evaluation. Yet more testament to the hard work, success and recognition that this class leading programme is receiving.


The judges commented: “The programme boasts a truly excellent research base. Not only has the team tried to re-engineer the experience event in road safety with demonstrable effects, but there is also clear partnership working throughout this innovative scheme.”


Drivestart is part of the councils’ initiative to make roads safer and reduce the number of casualties in the area and, alongside West Berkshire and Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham Borough Council is one of the first local authorities to take up the programme.


Drivestart is a one-day pre-driver course for 15 to 19 year olds who are applying for their provisional driving licence.


 Throughout the course, students take part in a number of interactive sessions including car maintenance and tips on buying their first car, as well as a driving simulation to develop the hazard perception skills.  They are also offered the opportunity to get behind the wheel for real.


Matthew Gould, service manager for transport and road safety at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “We’re thrilled our Drivestart programme has been recognised by industry leaders and appreciate the opportunity that this award has given us to promote this important programme for the young people of Wokingham Borough.


“As well as preparing young drivers for their practical and theory test, the program is also focused on creating better awareness to insure they develop better driving habits and are mindful of other road users which in turn should help improve road safety in Wokingham Borough.”


Drivestart has also been shortlisted for a CIHT award with the ceremony taking place on 14 June in London.


The next Drivestart course will take place on 31 May at Madejski Stadium. Further details can be found by visiting:  http://drivestart.co.uk/book/