Taking your driving test in Salisbury can have its challenges but with the right driving instructor and enough time and practice, the busy streets and roundabouts can be mastered by almost any learner driver. We have created this Salisbury Test Centre guide to help our pupils get a better understanding of areas they need to practice and watch out for that could come up on their driving test.
Leaving the Salisbury test centre
One of the first things you will notice about Salisbury test centre is the small opening to get in and out of the car park, it is only big enough for one car in our out at a time so be careful and be ready for other cars to come though the small gap when leaving or entering the test centre.
As you leave the test centre car park and turn left up the road there are usually 3-4 cars parked in the parking bays on your side of the road. This will force you over to the wrong side of the road
Now this is sometimes where a pupil can make a mistake, the examiner can ask you to turn left or right at the end of the road, If your asked to turn right, after the final parked car, make sure you check your left door mirror and to make sure you are clear of the parked car and then move back into the left of the road before you reach the end of the road to turn right – as marked by the green line on the picture to the right. It might sound simple but the odd pupil has failed their driving test here due to not moving back into the left before trying to turn right at the end of the road.
St Marks Roundabout
St Marks roundabout coming from the test centre Wain-A-Long Road
St Marks is the first roundabout by the driving test centre and pssibly one of the most feared by learner drivers, but once you know which lane to use the roundabout shouldnt cause you any problems.
We have added different colour routes around the roundabout to show you which lane to use for which exit and a full explanation of the lanes can be found below.
Wain-A-Long Road to 2nd or 3rd Exit A36
If your asked to take the second exit onto St Marks Road/ Escourt Road, or the third exit on to Churchill Way North, A36 dual carriageway, demonstrated by the green line on the pictures to the right and below.
Approach the roundabout in the left hand lane
Head for the left hand lane at the first set of traffic lights, then continue along the left hand lane and exit at St Marks Road or continue in the left lane to exit at Churchill Way North.
Wain-A-Long Road to 4th Exit St Marks Avenue or 5th Exit onto London Road
If your asked to take the fourth exit on the roundabout you are being asked to come off the roundabout at St Marks Avenue, demonstrated by the purple line on the pictures to the right and below.
Approach the roundabout in the right hand lane
Head for the right hand lane at the first set of traffic lights, then continue around the roundabout and move out so you are in the left hand lane at the next set of traffic lights, for St Marks Avenue this is when you prepare to exit the roundabout. For the fifth exit London Road, continue around the roundabout in the left hand lane and continue onto London Road.
Churchill Way East to 5th Exit onto Wain-A-Long Road and St Marks Road to 4th Exit Wain-A-Long Road
1. If your asked to take the fith exit on the roundabout you are being asked to come off the roundabout at Wain-A-Long Road and back towards the test centre. Demonstrated by the green line on the pictures marked No1 to the right and below.
Approach the roundabout in the right hand lane
Head for the right hand lane at the first set of traffic lights, then continue around the roundabout and move out so you are in the centre lane, at the next set of traffic lights this becomes the left hand lane.
2. If your entering the roundabout from St Marks Road and asked to take the fourth exit onto Wain-A-Long Road then follow steps 2 and 3 as in the pictures below.
Churchill Way North to 3rd Exit onto Wain-A-Long Road or to 4th Exit Churchill Way East
On the approach to the roundabout keep an eye on the signage and you will see that both lanes of the dual carriageway lead onto the fourth exit Churchill Way East which is also a dual carriageway, because of this it is better if you stay in the left hand lane on the approach and then into the central lane (Lane 2) as you approach the first set of traffic lights. This way you are less likely to get undertaken on the roundabout and the next section of dual carriageway.
As you progress to the next set of traffic lights you will be in the centre lane (Lane 2) and this will become the left lane after the second set of traffic lights. This will be where you exit the roundabout for the third exit Wain-A-Long Road.
For the fourth exit Churchill Way, continue in the outside lane around the roundabout and exit the roundabout on the left hand lane of the dual carriageway.
If you manage to get in the wrong lane, dont worry, stay where you are and follow that lane to its destination. Its much safer to stay in that lane and go the wrong way and this will not effect your test results. If you do switch lanes, you are more likely to commit a driver fault on the marking sheet. Remember to keep checking your side mirrors as you move around the roundabout, keep an eye on the road signs on approach and take your time.
Another roundabout in Salisbury that can cause confusion is Castle Roundabout and this is the next roundabout along Churchill Way North, A36 dual carriageway from St Marks and the test centre.
As well as watching which lane to use you need to keep an eye out for the yellow box junctions placed around the roundabout as seen in the picture to the right here.
If you are heading along Churchill Way with St Marks roundabout and the test centre behind you, on the appraoch to the roundabout you will see the road sign below split in the first picture. The road splits into 3 lanes as you approach the roundabout, as shown below in the second picture.
If you are taking a left turnat the roundabout and heading towards town, then stay near the kirb left hand lane first exit.
If you are asked to follow the road ahead, second exit A36 towards Shaftesbury then you can use the left or centre lane as its a dual carriageway but would recommend you stay in the left hand lane. As you are on the roundabout you need to make sure you stay in your lane as the marking here are a bit worn. See picture three below marked with the green arrows.
Turning Right 3rd Exit
To go to the third exit use the right hand lane on the approach, stay close to the roundabout. After the second set of traffic lights start to move away from the roundabout so you are in the middle lane marked A345 by time you reach the third set of traffic lights. (Keep out of the left lane marked BUS LANE)
As you come around to exit the roundabout at the third exit, stay clear of the BUS STOP and remember to check your left door mirror and signal before exiting the roundabout.
Turning Right 4th Exit
To go to the fourth exit and back along the A36 Dual Carriageway towards the test centre, use the right hand lane on the approach to the roundabout, stay close to the roundabout marked A345 and then A36.
After the third set of traffic lights start to move away from the roundabout so you are in the left hand lane marked A336 by time you reach the fourth set of traffic lights.
Then keep in the left hand lane on the dual carriageway.
Just after St Thomas Bridge Roundabout if on the A338 you can be asked to turn left onto a small road heading towards the village of FORD.
This small country road can sometimes be quite flooded so be careful if its a wet day. The speed limit here is national speed limit, as you come to the actual village of FORD the speed limit drops to 30mph.
Not long after you enter the village there is a scrap processing site on your right hand side, be careful of lorries or vans sticking their nose out of a blind exit from the site, remember here the vehicles exiting the site will have restricted view and may stick their nose out into the road before they see you coming so be ready to stop if need be.
I’ve taken a screen shot of the view you will have and marked the Entrance/Exit to the processing site.
As you continue through the village you may be asked to take the next road on the right.
You will see the warning sign on the approach and will notice the turn in on a sharp bend in the road. A picture of the warning sign and road in the first picture to the right.
As you will see from the second picture the hedge is higher than the car and your view on the approach to the turn is very restricted so it’s important to make sure you get as far forward into the bend for a good view of what could be coming around the corner before you attempt to turn right.
Below is an image of the turn from above, I’ve added a green line to give you an idea of how you need to position to get a good view before you make the turn.