Barnet Test Centre
15 – 17 Western Parade
Barnet Test Centre is situated just off the A1000. A somewhat busy main road that brings traffic coming from Finchley, through Whetstone, past the test the on to High Barnet and beyond. There are a variety of roads that leaners can be taken on. From quiet residential roads, national speed country roads and 70mph dual carriageways. These routes can prove challenging but with the right tuition, it can be done.
Most of the learners actually start the test on the A1000 itself. Moving off from here and joining the traffic can prove difficult especially during periods of heavy traffic. Some learners fail here for moving off too soon into the path of cars that are already on the road. The advice here is to be patient. There is nothing wrong with waiting until there is a big enough gap to join the traffic. Due to nerves, some learners may feel that they are taking too long and try to force their way out of the parked position. Try to subdue the nerves and be patient.
In very heavy traffic, making eye contact with the other drivers is a good move. When drivers make eye contact with you, it becomes more personal, they will be more likely to let you go in front of them. Making eye contact not only makes it easier to move off but you will be more certain about the driver’s intentions. This approach is also very useful for when you are trying to emerge at a junction and there is heavy traffic.
Once you have managed to move off, you may head towards High Barnet where the road splits into two. Often you will be required to change lanes. The lorries and buses that are usually parked in the left lane do not make this task any simpler. Mirror checks are essential here and it is where a lot of learners fail because they fail to check their mirrors properly before changing lanes. Because of the faint lines that divide the lanes, learners sometimes forget that there are in fact two lanes and as such, before moving from one to the other, mirrors must be checked and a signal given.
After making your way through the high road, you might be taken towards country roads where the speed limit changes to national speed. Be careful to keep an eye out for speed limit changes and some are not as obvious as others. Although these roads are national speed, a few of them are quite narrow and have many sharp bends. Although you will be expected to go faster in these roads it would be dangerous to drive at 60mph in the narrow roads or where the road bends. You must drive at a speed that is appropriate for those conditions. Practice around these roads is advised if you are not familiar with them.
One of the routes will take you from a country road onto a dual carriageway by a T-Junction. The section of dual carriageway you will be trying to join is 70mph. It is important that before you emerge onto the dual carriageway, you allow enough space to ensure that you do not force the cars already on the dual carriageway to slow down or change lanes. Once you decide to join the dual carriageway, be sure to keep to the left lane as you you turn and try to get up to speed as quickly as you can.
Coming back into the test centre when the test is near its end provides its own challenge. As you go through the traffic lights just before the test centre, be very careful here as the two lanes merge into one and there may be a vehicle parked opposite Tesco which will make it difficult to blend into the lane smoothly. Using you mirror here is a must. A signal may also be required here. Be patient if other drivers are not willing to let you merge, take your time and make sure you do not cut anyone up.
If there is a car parked by the entrance to the car park then extra care must be taken when turning into the car park as the entrance is quite narrow and if you are not careful may end up driving into a brick wall. If you haven’t carried out a manoeuver whilst you were on the test routes, you will be asked to do a bay park in the car park just before then end of your test. The parking bays in Barnet Test centre are very short and there is a crash barrier behind them to stop cars hitting the fence. Most of the time the examiner will remind you about the barrier. Don’t drive too far back during this manoeuver as this may cost you the test.
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