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Driving test ExplainedTest Routes

This page is designed to help you prepare for your test at either Maybush or Forest Hills test centre by giving you hints and tips about some of the difficult and awkward areas that come up in the test and how should deal with them:

Here is some information from the DSA about the top 10 reasons why people fail the driving test:

top 10 reasons for failing the test

* Observations at Junctions                         * Moving away safely

* Reverse Parking                                           * Incorrect positioning on the road

* Use of mirrors                                               * Lack of steering control

* Reversing around a corner                         * Incorrect positioning to turn right

* Incorrect use of signals                              * Inappropriate speed

Maybush test centreHere is the test centre you can see the car park you will have to use if you are asked to do a bay park.

Southampton (Maybush)  Routes 1-5 55K             Southampton (Maybush) Routes 6-10 52K

Southampton (Maybush) Routes 11-15 59K        Southampton (Maybush) Routes 16-17 28K

Below is some information on the areas of the test routes that often catch people out in the Maybush area:

paynes rdpaynes rd slip road to dual carriageway. The main problem here is speed: The road is downhill and seems like it should have a faster speed limit, especially as you are approaching a dual carriageway, but be carefull the speed limit remains at 30 mph until you reach the footbridge where it changes to 50mph.

watch for the speed limit change

2 mini roundaboutsHere we have 2 mini-roundabouts right next to each other and on a hill!. As you approach the top of the hill it is very hard to see whether traffic is approaching from the right. Treat it like you would the end of a road (back into 1st gear) then you can be ready to hold the car on the clutch or pull away.

coxford road

test laneAt the beginning of this road speed is the common problem (or lack of it!) It is a national speed limit road (60mph) so where traffic permits make sure you speed up to at least 40-50mph even if just briefly, to demonstate your knowledge of the speed limit. As you progress down the road it becomes progressively narrower until you reach the points marked on the picture. Point 1 is a give way line because at point 2 the road is narrowed so as to only let one direction through at a time, then immediately followed by a mini roundabout which is raised so not easy to see at first. Turning left at the mini-roundabout the following road has huge speed bumps so take it easy!! Thisroad leads to the Redbridge roundabout.

redbridge roundaboutThis Roundabout is very much designed to make things easier for traffic wanting the motorway( bottom left). You will be asked to follow the road ahead taking the 2nd exit (Right to left in picture). There is only 1 lane on approach but the normal route would be to keep to the left hand lane, however on this roundabout the left hand lane goes off on to the motorway. You will need to go straight into the right hand lane and at the point marked by the arrow signal left and, if safe, drift to the left lane to exit in the left hand lane. This roundabout is always extremely busy and often you will be waiting 5mins for a suitable gap in the traffic!!!.

national speed limitThis route takes in lots of national speed limit roads. Remember the speed limit is 60mph You should try and make progress along the road whilst trying not to hold people up and also travelling at a speed that you feel is appropriate for the situation 40-50mph is fine for the bends people fail for travelling at 35-40 all the way: Show the examiner that you know what the speed limit is, but stay SAFE.

rushington roundaboutYou will approach this roundabout from the right and be asked to take the 3rd exit turning all the way back on yourself. Approach in the right hand lane with right signal. At the arrow there are markings which push you away from the roundabout towards the outside lane also signal left and check mirrors first. Don't leave it to late the road from the left is very busy with 3 lanes!!

regents park roadFrom Regents park road approaching Shirley high street keep an eye on the road signs and markings, opposite Kwik Fit you have to turn left into Carlise road. The Examiner will not tell you to turn (but at the beginning of the test he will have said for you to follow road signs and markings)

watch the signs - compulsory left turn

park rdNothing out of the ordinary here just a standard STOP junction, however lots of people fail their test because they don't stop!. AT A STOP JUNCTION YOU MUST COME TO A COMPLETE STOP. Count to 3 or apply the handbrake and then slowly start to creep forward and pull away when safe.

stop junctionAgain a stop junction but here you can see the reason why: visability is terrible emerging from this junction. Remember STOP. Then slowly creep forwards until you can see the road is clear to emerge. (the parked cars on the left and the bend in the road on the right make this a very tricky bit of road! BE CAREFUL!

ensure you stop at the line

watch the yellow hatched boxesTurning right here you need to be aware of the yellow hatched markings - remember you cannot enter the box unless your exit is clear. There is room for only 3-4 cars the other side of the box so don't get caught out when you turn into the dual carriageway be sure to use the left hand lane unless the Examiner has said otherwise.

spiral roundaboutMillbrook roundabout is a different type of roundabout known as a spiral roundabout. Instead of having 3 lanes going around in 3 rings the markings are much more complicated and potentialy confusing. You do not need to change lanes instead each exit has a designated lane which comes off at the exit so you stay in the same lane and with each exit you pass your lane drifts towards the outside of the roundabout like a spiral. To add to the confusion most of the exits from this roundabout are dual carriage ways and so there is and extra overtaking lane coming off at each exit too!              Enlarge picture

Forest Hills test centreHere is the Forest Hills test centre you can see the car park that you may have to reverse park in! Be careful to check the pavement as you leave as you'll need to drive right over it to get to the road.

Southampton (Forest Hills) Routes 1-5 50K      Southampton (Forest Hills) Routes 6-10 51K

Southampton (Forest Hills) Routes11-15 51K Southampton (Forest Hills) Routes 16-1729K

Below is some information on the areas of the test routes that often catch people out in the Forest Hills area:

hedge end roundaboutThis Roundabout is very big and has 3 lanes. Check the sign on your approach it will tell you what lane to use. It is a spiral roundabout so there is no need to change lanes. Your lane will take you all the way to your exit. Pay close attention to the lane markings to help you.

thomas lewis wayspeed/positioning: The speed limit is 40mph. This road is wide but only marked as 2 lanes as you approach each of the numerous traffic lights. Keep left and be aware of any traffic trying to squeeze past on your right as the road narrows.

windhover roundaboutAnother spiral Roundabout so pay attention to the road signs and markings to see what lane to use. A common route is taking the 4th exit towards Bitterne You should use the right hand lane and keep tight to the right until the exit before (3rd) as you approach the Tesco Sign- follow the lines on your left this will drift you into the middle lane and then into the left hand lane to exit. Signal and use your mirrors as normal.

woodmillA very strange bit of road and very narrow - only wide for 1 car at a time. There is a system: 3 Cars approaching from the top should enter the bridge,keep left and wait, marked with an arrow on picture, then, 3 cars from the other side enter the bridge and pass then the cars waiting can then continue crossing. This is a very complicated bit of road and lots of people are confused by it. Approach with care be prepared for cars coming the other way even if it's not their turn!!

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