SHOPPERS are being forced to put up with learner drivers practising their parking in supermarket car-parks ahead of the introduction of a new rule in the driving test.

Would-be motorists will have to work out how to reverse a car into parking bays, and get it out again, if they are to pass their tests from December 4.

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But instructors and their students face problems as practice areas are limited to public car parks, shopping car parks, residential bays or driving test centres, where space is restricted.

There are growing fears the move could clog up the forecourts of shops, especially with Christmas fast approaching.

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One senior Scottish driving instructor claimed some colleagues have been chased by security guards with their students' on the receiving end of shoppers' ire as they train for the new requirements Gordon Crosbie, chairman of the Driving Instructors Scottish Council, said there is a lack of documentation and clarity over the new rules from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

He said: “I’ve not experienced the chase-away syndrome yet but it does happen.

“The clarification really has to come from DVSA.

“I’ve heard tales from instructors saying that when they’ve been to the meeting with their local test centre managers they have been told that it is trial and error, they are going to try a certain car park and if they get lots of protestation then they’ll stop using it on tests.”

He said: “You are also getting animosity from the public.

“You and I can park our car a lot quicker than a learner can, so if you are hogging a lane for maybe for or six minutes while you are giving guidance you would get the angry glare.”

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The new elements of the test also include a longer period of 20 minutes of driving without direction from the instructor and, during that section of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.

Mr Crosbie added: “Our members need black and white answers for this [bay parking].

“You would have though that the DVSA would have clarified this in a document, but a lot of it is shaky.

“There is not enough information out there for the public and for us. It leaves a whole grey area - which ones [car parks]can we use?”

Neil Greig, of motoring organisation the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), said it is hoped instructors will use a number of different locations.

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He said: “IAM RoadSmart were part of the steering committee that helped set up the ‘new’ test.

“In general we are happy that it goes as far as the government can to make the test more like real life driving within existing legal, time and cost limits.

“For instructors our hope is that they will use a variety of locations to ensure their pupils can bay park."

A spokesman for the DVSA said it is “committed to helping people through a lifetime of safe driving and the new test will better assess candidates ability in situations and locations they will encounter once they’ve passed their test.

“The forward park exercise will be carried out in public car parks, where there are no restrictions."