A GROUP of students with learning difficulties yesterday challenged their lecturer to a Top Gear-style challenge.

Ten East Durham College students used public transport to get from Sunderland to the Houghall Campus, in Durham City, against the pedal power of lecturer Keith Cook.

While the students arrived at the finishing line 15 minutes ahead of Mr Cook, the lecturer received the medal – because the students had left from a different station than they had originally planned.

But, campus head Jane Pringle said the students were to be congratulated as they had used the skills taught to them to change their travel arrangements accordingly.

Ms Pringle said: “As part of their course, they take part in a number of curriculum areas to help build their life skills, including training to use public transport.

“They were shadowed by Kerry Barker, who delivers the travel training, to ensure they were safe.”

The students who are on a land based operations foundation course travelled by bus and train via Newcastle to reach their final destination.

Mr Cook, the curriculum leader, said: “I am really pleased about the outcome, because the students used their initiative to enable them to win the race.”

All proceeds raised through the event will be going to the Haiti Appeal.