UK Transport Awards 2023

31 | UK Transport Awards 2023 Jan23731 Leading Specialists in Motorcycle Training - Northern Ireland North Down Driver and Rider Training (NDDART) is a driver and rider training school based in Bangor, Northern Ireland. It offers a wide range of training courses, including car, motorcycle, and trailer training, ranging from basic training to advanced courses for experienced drivers and riders. With its core values including a no-shortcuts policy, personal approach to learning, and professional instruction, we learn more about the company’s offering. North Down Driver and Rider Training strives to provide a personal service when teaching clients how to drive a car or ride a motorcycle. Its team’s focus is on delivering quality instruction, ensuring students have the knowledge and skills needed to progress through their course and succeed in their own time. These students are primarily in the 24+ age range, with them finding life experience is helpful in their learning. When it comes to motorcycle training, the company offers one-on-one sessions rather than group to ensure that everyone can learn at their own pace and the instructor is focused on the individual student. The student does need to have their own motorcycle that is insured, taxed, and has a valid MOT test certificate, as due to the removal of motorcycle school insurance, the company is no longer able to hire bikes to students. Regarding further changes in the UK transport industry, NDDART has observed a shift in attitudes towards training for motorcycling as more people move from other forms of transport to motorcycles. This can be attributed to cost savings, better fuel economy, lower taxes and insurance, and a sense of freedom. COVIDrelated restrictions also led to a noticeable increase in small motorcycles and scooters being used, as people could obtain a CBT certificate in a short time, allowing them to become mobile during the pandemic. However, despite changes in the transport industry, the company has maintained its one-to-one offering. Indeed, restrictions on in-person learning and social distancing measures made it difficult for schools to train their students safely and effectively. As a result, many schools had to adapt by offering online learning options or implementing strict safety protocols to keep their students and instructors safe. Further, NDDART has had to adapt to changes in the UK transport market, including the biggest challenge for anyone involved in training or driving: rising fuel costs. Fuel prices are constantly fluctuating, and driver training schools need to be able to absorb those costs or pass them on to their customers. NDDART has been able to do this, avoiding increasing its prices in the last year, taking a long-term view that it should only increase its prices when absolutely necessary. Additionally, maintenance costs can be high, particularly for motorcycles and other specialised vehicles, and driver training schools need to ensure that they can maintain their cars to a high standard while still keeping their prices competitive. Also a challenge is increased competition in the market, with many new driver training schools popping up in recent years. As a result, driver training schools must ensure they can differentiate themselves from their competitors and provide high-quality training to attract and retain customers. Underlying NDDART’s ability to do this is its maintaining of a professional internal culture, with passionate instructors who keep themselves up to date by completing additional training each year in the form of advanced tests, first aid courses, and safeguarding courses. When hiring new staff, the company looks for individuals who have a genuine passion for motorcycling and who are committed to personal development. In addition, it seeks to attract the best talent on the market by offering opportunities for professional growth and development. Driver training schools like North Down Driver and Rider Training need to be agile and adaptable in the face of challenges to ensure they can continue to provide high-quality training to their students while remaining competitive in the market. Simon and his team continue to overcome these challenges with aplomb. Looking ahead, the company plans to shift its focus away from the CBT market and specialise in Direct Access courses to achieve a high standard of competence for new riders on every occasion, making them well-prepared to go out on their own once they’ve passed the final licensing test. This shift in focus comes after a couple of challenging years due to the pandemic and fuel costs. Email: Website: Contact number: 07961158218 Business name: North Down Driver & Rider Training.