Former Trowbridge carnival queen Sara Hillman who took 22 years and eight driving tests to finally get her road licence is urging others to not give up.

Driving tests for Miss Hillman, 39, of Fairwood Close, Paxcroft Mead, were a battle of nerves and fear but after passing earlier this year she now wants to encourage those who are struggling that there is hope.

She said: “It almost ruled my life, it was a silly phobia. If I used to see an examiner on the TV I would have to go out in the kitchen that was how scared I was.

“I’ve had six different examiners, six different driving instructors in 22 years. As the tests went on I got more determined because I was failing on stupid things.

“It was just my nerves so I went and did an anxiety course which helped me.”

Miss Hillman, who has a four-year-old son James, feels passing the test hasn’t only opened up a whole new world for her but also for her family.

She said: “It’s given my boy a better life as I can take him places. It’s the freedom and so many doors have opened job wise.”

Miss Hillman’s key to success was a banana and cup of Earl Grey before the test and her late mother’s cross for good luck.

She added: “I don’t want anyone to give up. When everybody said it would change your life you don’t believe it, but it is true and I love it.”