ADI Part 2 Manoeuvres – Bay Park
Another manoeuvre that causes fear and panic in a great many trainee instructors is the bay park.
This exercise can be carried out by reversing into a bay either on the left or on the right.
Car parks are notoriously busy places, with vehicles moving and pedestrians appearing from nowhere. The major errors in this exercise are related to poor or faulty observation techniques. Make sure you look everywhere. Quick, sideways glances are far from enough.
Whether you do have to perform this exercise or not, often depends upon the availability of a suitable car park at the DVSA test centre. The SE is very unlikely to ask you to drive onto your nearest supermarket car park to carry out this manoeuvre.
You’ll be expected to carry out this manoeuvre under sometimes fairly complex and difficult circumstances. The bay may be very tight, there may be an incline or a decline on the car park, or the car park may be very busy. As you’ll realise, a great deal of skill and coordination could be called for.
Get plenty of practice at this manoeuvre with your trainer, and ensure that you are fully prepared.
Also, consider the vehicle that you’ll be driving, and think about whether to set the gas or allow the engine to do the work.
There is little point in providing a full tutorial on the bay park, as your trainer will explain it to you in detail, but we will take a look at some of the very common pitfalls and dangers for the unwary.
Dangers And Pitfalls
The main pitfalls with this manoeuvre are very much concerned with observation. The SE will typically ask you to choose the bay to reverse into, but will usually not allow you to drive forwards out of one, and reverse straight back into the same one. Also, because you are on a car park does not mean that you don’t have to consider a location that is safe, legal and convenient. It is essential that you show excellent observation skills before moving the car, and continue to do so throughout the manoeuvre. The SE will check to ensure that you take these observations.
You will then stop the vehicle a short distance from your chosen parking bay. Don’t forget to use msm to pull up.
You will then prepare the car to move backwards, using POM, but selecting reverse gear.
Now, for the most common single error committed on this manoeuvre, by both learners and trainees. Again, it’s an observation fault. The fault is that you must look back, out of the rear windscreen, before the wheels of the car turn even one inch.
You would not want to set off forwards while looking back, so don’t set off backwards whilst looking to the front. This is almost always a serious error, as it could potentially be very dangerous.
Whilst on the move, do not, under any circumstances, rely solely on the mirrors for your vision to the rear. Again, almost always a serious error. You must actually look to the rear for the majority of the manoeuvre.
Once your car reaches the ‘point of turn’, where you will start to steer into the selected bay, you must take effective observation over your right shoulder and offside (right) door mirror before turning the steering wheel to the slightest degree for a bay park to the left. Or, you must take effective observation over your left shoulder and nearside (left) door mirror before turning the steering wheel to the slightest degree for a bay park to the right. This is because, as soon as you start the turn, the front of the car will ‘swing’ out into the path of any other vehicles or pedestrians on the car park.
It is therefore essential to check that it is safe to do so, before you do so. The word before cannot be emphasised enough. Many thousands of tests have been failed due to this single observation fault, as it is almost always regarded as a serious error, particularly on an ADI part 2 test.
Throughout the exercise, you’ll be expected to demonstrate excellent and effective use of the steering wheel, and very good coordination of the foot pedals.
The manoeuvre must be completed with you in full and absolute Control, regardless of the incline or how tight or busy the car park may be. If your car is capable, you may find performing the manoeuvre with no gas to be far easier and smoother.
The SE will be watching carefully for any weaknesses in your use of the Controls or in your coordination.
At the conclusion of the bay park, the SE will ask you to move off again. As always, make sure you move off using good, effective observations, under full Control.