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Ask an Instructor - send us your questions

Whether you are learner driver or an experienced motorist, you can email any driving-related question to info@wycombedrivingschool.co.uk and you will receive a personal response from Wycombe Driving School boss Audrey Wixon, pictured. The best questions and answers will be published on this website anonymously.

Audrey is a DSA ADI; DIAmond, IAM and RoSPA Gold Advanced Driver; Fleet Trainer; Observer for Institute of Advanced Motorists; & National Standard cycling instructor

Audrey Wixon - manager of Wycombe Driving School
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Can you help me with overtaking stationary buses?

Q: I hate it when I get stuck behind a bus waiting at a bus stop because it is very hard to see past them and so I rarely overtake. When I do, they usually pull off at just that moment! How should you deal with waiting buses?

Overtaking a bus A: The Highway Code advises motorists to give priority to buses signalling to pull off from a bus stop. However, if the bus is not signalling right, it could be there for ages and if you don’t overtake at the first safe opportunity, drivers behind you may become frustrated and try to pass you and the bus.

When you are travelling behind a bus and can see a bus stop ahead, try to predict how long the bus will wait there before deciding whether it is worth overtaking. Is there anyone waiting to get on or is the bus just stopping to let someone off? Who is waiting to get on? Is it an old person who is likely to flash a bus pass and sit down at the first available seat or a young mum struggling with a pushchair who then has to get her purse out and be given change?

When waiting behind a bus, make sure you stop far enough back to be able to see past it. Perhaps it hasn’t stopped at the bus stop at all but is actually waiting in a queue at some red traffic lights or giving way behind a parked car. How embarrassing/ dangerous would it be if you tried to overtake then?

Bus drivers are trained to be aware that motorists might try to overtake them unsafely and often leave their right indicators flashing while waiting in queues, to encourage traffic to stay behind - so pay attention to their signals.

If you decide to overtake, then do so slowly because passengers often get off buses and then cross the road immediately in front of them because the door is at the front.
Audrey Wixon
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Wycombe Driving School - for driving lessons in High Wycombe and surrounding areas - including Amersham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, Hazlemere, Stokenchurch and Princes Risborough. We offer successful, structured driving lessons, providing free theory test software and lesson handouts. Male and female driving instructors are available, providing both manual and automatic driving lessons.