When I became fully qualified as an instructor, I initially joined the AA School of Motoring. Bad move financially, but they did at least pay for me to be pass plus registered (saving me about 30 quid) and gave me a free sat nav, which I still have and use, although the maps, being about 6 years old, are becoming increasingly prone to error.
The Pass Plus scheme is a course of post-test tuition that helps to broaden the skills and experience of new drivers. It covers motorways, dual carriageways, rural roads, city driving, driving at night, and driving in bad weather.
It involves a minimum of 6 hours tuition but offers no strictures on how to divide those hours. I tend to place emphasis on Motorway driving, since most of the other stuff has been covered in ordinary lessons. I also encourage people to do it all in one session.
This allows me to get them driving to somewhere quite exotic. I'd established a route that took us along the M53 and M56 before dealing with Stockport City Centre, and cutting across country to Glossop in the Peak District, and on over the Snake Pass. This last bit in particular is a spectacular drive, and marks the far point of our outward journey. We stop, have lunch, and head back around the north side of Manchester using the M67 and M60 before joining the A580 East Lancs road, a long dual carriageway that takes us back to Liverpool and Wirral. At this time of year, it's near impossible to include driving at night, but like bad weather, some elements are covered by use of questions and answers.
A few months ago, I attempted to visit Emley Moor Mast with Bren, but the weather was awful, and the cloud base was a few scant feet above the ground, so what we actually saw was a sort of concrete stump that quickly vanished into the murk. But the journey was not without use.
Once again, some of the scenery we passed through was magnificent, and the journey covered a wide varuety of road types, and was of a similar length to my established Snake Pass route.
You can see where I'm going with this, can't you?
Yesterday, I did a pass plus course with a former pupil. The objective was to get to Emley Moor. I knew some of the route from the previous attempt, but I also took the satnav just to help us.
And yes. It worked brilliantly. It placed the emphasis on motorway driving, but also included a lot of rural stuff, both open free flowing roads, and narrow twisty bits with cows and tractors and stuff. It also included a magnificent stretch of road between Mottram and Penistone. The A628.
Part of this road is also called the Woodhead Pass.
So that, I've decided, is the real reason why the Pass Plus course is so named. With Paul Sharp School of Motoring, you get to drive through some magnificent passes.
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