DURING the height of lockdown restrictions between March and June, interest in learning to drive rose by 195% in Bolton, according to recent research.

Learner driver insurance provider Marmalade examined Google search data surrounding terms relating to driving to see if lockdown had influenced people's desire to learn how to drive.

Bolton was in the top ten areas which saw a significant increase in searches of this term.

Searches for the term ‘learning to drive’ rose significantly throughout the lockdown period with an average national rise of 120% when comparing data from March and June 2020.

However, in many areas of the UK this was significantly higher.

Middlesbrough had the highest increase, up by 554%, Chester was second, increasing by 310% and Cheltenham third with a 248% increase.

Bolton came in eighth with an increase of 195%.

Driving lessons were resumed in England on July 4.

CEO at Marmalade, Crispin Moger, said:"Driving, for many people, is one of the main forms of independence, and being stuck at home for significant lengths of time has been the incentive for many to get on the road and travel in their own vehicle.

"Many people feel safer in the comfort of their own vehicle, and with 20% of people suggesting they are likely to drive more to avoid public transport, this is likely to have contributed towards the spike in searches as well.

“The next challenges facing provisional licence holders is finding an approved instructor with availability for new pupils, and booking a driving test, with waiting lists rising all the time.”