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Who are we?





Mark Ashby-Wardle

Driving Instructor, Driving Instructor Training, Fleet Training (manual)

My name is Mark Ashby-Wardle and I have been driving for almost 30 years now. For a long time my job involved driving 100's of miles every week and in 2013 I worked out that at that point I had driven just over 1,000,000 miles 

I love people, I love driving and I love passing on my knowledge, so in March 2014 I decided to combine what I was good at and trained as a driving instructor. Initially I worked for BSM but set up my own school in 2015. Every day is a real pleasure, seeing pupils overcome nerves and anxieties and succeed is an absolute privilege. It was the best decision I ever made!

I take my football very seriously and support West Ham, which has helped me deal well with any daily knock backs!! I like a banter and enjoy a good laugh with my pupils, but I am firm and I have high standards and expectations. When I do get time off I love a game of golf and spending time with my wife and family.

I feel lucky to have found a career I enjoy so much and look forward to doing it for a long time to come.





Rob Moore

Driving Instructor, Driving Instructor Trainer (manual)

Hi, I'm Rob Moore and I have been driving for almost 10 years.

I have always had an obsession with all things car related and whilst I initially followed a career in retail management I think I was destined to be a driving instructor. Whilst retails management was very different it did teach me about customer service and the importance of happy clients!

I met Mark when I was working for BSM and once he set up on his own driving school I decided to join him. Being an instructor is a brilliant job and I love helping my pupils achieve. Each day is different and each pupil is different and I look forward to what every day brings.

Being an instructor takes up a large amount of my time but on the odd occasion I get some free time I like nothing more than a good meal and the occasional pint and to combat the sedentary life style I lead I regularly go to the gym!





Shamila Hussain

Driving Instructor (manual)

Hi, I'm Shamila and I have been teaching over 5 years now. 


I believe knowing how to drive is essential. It gives you freedom, independence and overall just makes your life easier. My teaching style is very calm and relaxed so I’m great with very nervous students. I like to work at the pace of my students, my lessons are very much guided by individual needs and ability. 


I initially started my journey with RED. After a few years, I decided to join Gears Forward as it was more localised. The team is fantastic and I am enjoying my journey so far. 


Family life is important to me. I have two boys, who keep me entertained and active. We love to go on weekend bike rides and watch movies together. I also love to bake in my spare time.





Tony Petrou

Driving Instructor (automatic)

Hi, my name is Tony Petrou,  and I am the latest addition to the Gears Forward team. After 40 years in hospitality I decided that it was time to change direction,  and trained to be a driving instructor. What my years in hospitality taught me was that providing the customer with an experience above and beyond their expectations. 

Working with RED for the past three years was great, but lacked the personal touch which is why I agreed to join Gears Forward. Teaching automatic gives learners who might have started in a manual vehicle previously and stopped taking lessons the perfect opportunity to gain an independence they might have thought was beyond them.

I have three children and five grandchildren who take up most of my leisure time, however eating out is a passion.




Nigel Groves

Driving Instructor (Manual)

Hi I am Nigel Groves.

After working for 25 years in the I.T. industry I decided to take up a less stressful career and trained to become a Driving Instructor. I worked for BSM for 15 years which is where I first met Mark.

Once Mark set up Gears Forward Driver Training it was a very easy decision to join him a mere 7 years later.

My style of teaching varies according to the pupil - after all everyone learns differently - but if you were to sum it up in a couple of words, they would be "calm and relaxed".

In my spare time I enjoy reading, photography, cooking and magic!

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Tracie Ashby-Wardle

Driving Instructor (Manual)

Hi, I am Tracie Ashby-Wardle and I have just started my Driving Instructor journey after completing my training with Mark.

I have spent 18 years working in a local primary school as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant. This has given me an invaluable insight that all pupils have a different way of learning and it is a case of adapting your teaching to suit the individual learning need. In addition to this, I have been dealing with new telephone enquiries and booking lessons, etc for Mark. I will continue to do this side of the business.

I am loving meeting all my new pupils and getting them on the road.

Away from work, I have two grown up children, I enjoying travelling and going to concerts.

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