Steel City youngsters in top gear for driving success

Three talented youngsters from Sheffield are in top gear after making it through to the final of the Young Driver Challenge 2019.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 10:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 11:08 am
Siblings Ben and Libby Jones, aged 14 and 10, will be competing among 20 finalists in their age categories at the Young Driver Challenge 2019

Siblings Ben and Libby Jones, aged 14 and 10 (pictured), and Edward McManus, 12, will be competing among 20 finalists in their age categories at the Young Driver Challenge 2019.

The Challenge is run by Young Driver, the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons. Pupils drive dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas on private land with a fully qualified instructor and learn the skills needed to be a safe and responsible driver.

This is the fourth year Ben, who attends Ecclesfield High School, has made the final – coming second in the 10-13 age category in 2018. His sister Libby, who is a pupil at Greengate Lane Academy, is now following in her brother’s footsteps with her first final

Meanwhile, Edward McManus attends Bradfield Secondary and has been having regular lessons at the scheme’s Leeds venue, one of more than 65 across the country – including recently relaunched Meadowhall.

Ben said: "It’s my fourth year of being invited to the final and I can’t wait to put my skills to the test at the Challenge final after coming second last year. Learning to drive before the age of 17 has been a great experience. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it’s also helping prepare us for when we do get on the road for real. I have a good understanding of what Young Driver calls the ‘under the dashboard’ stuff, so that when I learn on the road, I’ll be able to pay much more attention to what is going on around me and other road users.” Libby added: “I am absolutely delighted to have made the final of the Young Driver Challenge 2019! Whilst I am excited to be following in my brother's footsteps, I think mum and dad are quite glad we are in different age categories.”

Edward said: “I’m proud and excited to have made it to the final. My lessons have been great fun and I look forward to them every time. The instructors are really kind, encouraging and supportive and they have given me confidence in my driving.

“I am sure this will help to give me the skill and awareness I need when I eventually drive on the road.

“I know the final will be challenging but I am really looking forward to putting my skills to the test.”