A TEENAGER has become one of the youngest people in the country to become an advanced driver — after following in the footsteps of her grandfather.

Phoebe Dobson, aged 18, passed her driving test first time but found in daunting travelling on the motorway to her job as a beautician in Manchester soon after removing her “L” plates.

Ted Rowson, Phoebe’s grandfather, an observer for Bolton and District Advanced Motorists, knew she would benefit from and enjoy some extra training so he bought her the advanced driving course as an 18th birthday present.

Phoebe, a former Rivington and Blackrod High School pupil, said: “I had to travel into Manchester every day on the motorway. I’d had no extra training for this in my basic driving lessons and I found the motorway quite daunting at first. It was the rush hour, very busy and everyone seemed to be driving very fast.”

She added: “I enjoyed the course very much. Now I’m an advanced motorist I’ll be eligible for cheaper car insurance when I’m 19 in August. At the moment my premiums are sky high.”

Mr Rowson, from Ladybridge, became an advanced driver when he retired from his job as an office manager.

He said: “I’d thought about it for years but work and family life got in the way so as soon as I retired I decided to do it. I wanted to be sure that my driving was up to scratch. We can all slip into bad habits and not realise it.

“I was not an observer for Phoebe while she did the course as I felt it wasn’t right for me to instruct her. But I did give her driving a review before she did her test. I think she is an excellent driver. She has really come on since doing the test, especially on motorways.”

Roy Sammons, chairman of Bolton and District Advanced Motorists, added: “The whole group is very proud of Phoebe’s achievement. Young people are very likely to be involved in an accident soon after learning to drive and would benefit from a course. If other grandparents are thinking they might like to offer their grandchildren more driving training, there is an early opportunity.”

The group will be starting its next course at Lostock Parish Centre on Wednesday, January 29, at 7pm.

Enrolling to the course will include RAC breakdown cover.

For details call Annette Gamble on 0161 797 1084 or visit boltoniam.org.uk