Uproar over 400 learner drivers a day.
LEARNER drivers are testing the patience of neighbours on a posh estate – with up to 400 using it for practice in one day alone.
Blundering beginners – kangaroo hopping and carrying out 15-point turns have been smashing into parked cars and walls, lamp-posts and trees with carefree abandon.
One learner even flipped his car on to its roof after colliding with another vehicle on the Firs Estate, in South Woodford, East London, where homes can fetch more than £1million.
Furious Eddie Blackwell, 75, has campaigned for years to stop learners making locals’ lives a misery. The retired structural engineer said: “Over the last eight years there have been well over 100 accidents and we are fed up with it.
“I have seen so many cars driving on to the pavement, hitting lamp-posts and hitting other cars. It’s like a warzone. One day someone is going to be seriously injured. A lot of children walk to school around here and we are all worried that one of them could be hit and killed.
“Some of the drivers don’t seem to know their left or right. They’ll indicate one way, then go the other.
“One of my neighbours has had their car written off three times.”
On Saturday, The Sun revealed how residents in Clyst St Mary, near Exeter, Devon, were also blighted by learners. Their street has been nicknamed “Driving School Alley” after 25 instructors were counted using the road in one afternoon.
But that’s nothing compared to the Firs Estate, where one road is called The Drive. Residents carried out a survey which showed there were 409 rookies practising there in just 12 hours.
Eddie has gathered more than 300 signatures from angry neighbours for a petition which was presented to Parliament. It demands signs be put up to stop instructors using the roads on the estate unless they are picking up a pupil.
Fellow resident Nancy Hesketh, 37, told how her father-in-law was knocked out after a learner careered into his car.
Bill Hesketh, 70, was changing a hub cap when his car was shunted from behind. Bill’s car then hit him and he was knocked unconscious.
Nancy said: “The car crashed into Bill’s and he was sent flying, landing in the middle of the road. Bill is 70. Thankfully he is quite solid and big. If he had been frail the accident would have killed him.”
Instructors go to the estate from across North and East London and Essex because of the nearby Wanstead test centre.
One driving instructor sympathised with the residents but said learners have to be able to practise in quiet streets.
Dave Jeffrey, of DJs School of Motoring in North London, said: “I understand their anger at certain times of the day when people are home from work.
“But at the end of the day drivers have to learn somewhere.
“The roads are wide here and it is ideal for parking and manoeuvres.”