DRIVING instructor Andrea Mannion is glad to be back behind the wheel of her car helping learner take to the road but she believes the Government’s advice has been poor.

Mrs Mannion, 43, who runs her own driving school in Devizes has been an instructor for 13 years but had only started working again in January after taking a year off for maternity leave.

She said: “Driving Instructors are demanding more help and advice on what is safe but it isn’t being given.

“I have noticed a lack of instructors returning, the government has not given us any guidelines or help to return. In one breath they said instructors can return on July 4th and on July 4th they bought out guidelines advising people not to share a car with anyone unless they were from the same house hold. Really does not make sense.”

The problems for instructors over advice has been taken up by the Driving Instructors Association which has been trying to keep members up to date since COVID-19 restrictions closed the industry back in March.

But Mrs Mannion is pleased to be back despite having to introduce a whole new way of working.

She said: “I started back last week and the lessons have really changed. I wear a mask and gloves, I supply the student with a mask and gloves.

“We have the whole lesson with the windows completely down. We try to remain face forward and do not turn to talk. We limit our talk to only the necessary.

“The seats are covered with plastic covering which is changed after each lesson. The car is wiped and sprayed with disinfectant after each lesson.

“When I need to talk to the student and explain things in detail we step outside of the car to do this. I check the students temperature before the lesson and call them up before I arrive to check they are feeling OK and have had no symptoms and hasn’t been in contact with anyone that has.”

She eased herself back into the job with a girl who was doing an intensive course. Mrs Mannion said: “It was a nice way of easing me back in and getting my head around how much had changed in order to carry out a lesson safely for both me and the student.”

Mrs Mannion trained as a driving instructor after she got married and wanted a job that would fit in with having children.

She said: “Although I changed my career ready to have the kids, when we first married it took us six and a half years to full pregnant first time and 4 years second time.

“So it has taken all this time of our married life to complete our family, which it is now complete finally.”

Her baby daughter was born last year and she took 2019 off as maternity leave. She said: “I started back to work January, 2020 then in Marchgot told I had to stop work. I was so excited to get back to work in January. Has been a very funny year so far, lockdown has had its highs and lows, good days and bad days.”