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Potholes on Britain’s roads have never been worse, says 100-year-old motorist

Centenarian Eric Dixon is still driving after 87 years
Centenarian Eric Dixon is still driving after 87 years - KMG/SWNS/KMG/SWNS

A 100-year-old man who is still driving says road manners and potholes are the worst they have ever been.

Eric Dixon enjoys motoring around in his Kia Picanto, and has no intention of stopping.

He began driving after leaving school at the age of 13 and acquired a job behind the wheel of a three-ton lorry. Since then he has driven several different vehicles – from motorcycles to double-decker buses.

Asked how the roads have changed over the decades, the centenarian, from Canterbury, said they were worse than ever.

He said: “There was always plenty of courtesy and it was one thing that was drilled into me when I was learning to drive.

“There are no manners today. Canterbury has got busier and it will get worse. Potholes are the worst they have ever been.”

The average age at which people give up driving is 75, but Mr Dixon, who passed his test on his 17th birthday, shortly after they became mandatory, insists there is nothing he did in his 60s which he can’t do now.

He is still a  keen gardener, cleans his windows and even climbs ladders to clear his gutters.

He said people “worry about my age rather than what I can do”.

He was watching ITV’s 100-Year-Old Driving School, which followed motorists in their 90s and older undergoing an assessment overseen by examiners.

“I was damn certain I was better than they are,” he said.

“But then I wondered if it was me thinking I was better than I am.

“Some of them should not be driving and it was them who made me think seriously about myself.”

He booked himself in for a government-approved test in 2017 to find out for sure that he was fine to still be on the roads.

Top marks

The assessment included a nurse carrying out physical checks and asking him questions about his health.

He said the test was the toughest he had taken as “it included so much more” than others.

But he still scored “10 out of 10”.

Mr Dixon says he could drive from Kent to any capital in Europe without a map or signposts, because he worked for a car company for 37 years after leaving the Army.

The only time he notched up points on his licence was in London in the 1940s when he says he parked on zig-zag road lines – commonly found either side of pedestrian crossings.

He retired from the East Kent Road Car Company in 1984, and now lives a happy life with partner, Margaret, who lives next door.

In the autumn of last year he bought his current car, a Kia Picanto, having previously driven a Skoda.

He is still in good health, with no need for carers or walking aids.

He said: “I am not on any medication.

“I lived on bags of fruit and vegetables from a boy during the war.

“You had to or you would go hungry.”