Bristol's A-Class Driving School Blog

Driving lessons | Intensive driving courses | Online driving tutorials | Driving instructor resource | Learner driver resource | Why Bristol is awesome!

It’s official - 20mph zones don’t make our roads safer

In a four year study conducted by the department of transport, the official findings on the millions of pounds spent to try and make our roads safer has concluded: it didn’t work.  

On average, the speeds fell by a mere 0.7mph, resulting in no fewer crashes.  The blanketing of our roads in certain towns and cities across the country with this restriction, has cost the tax payer between £10,000 and £1.7 million for each location.  

In a damming report, the figures show that we’re a nation of speeders, who routinely flout the law.  The department of transport recorded 446.6 million car journeys over the four year time period in 76 areas and 46% exceeded the limits routinely on all roads monitored.

The troubling numbers are when you look at the lower speeds.  In the new 20mph zones, which we paid so much for, 86% of drivers ignore the limit.  This figure rises to 94% in the small hours.

It also showed that 35% of drivers are guilty of tailgating and frighteningly, 2 in 5 of those drivers are on motorways.  Highways England believe that 12% of all road accidents are caused by tailgating, prompting them to start a campaign to educate drivers on this most unsafe of practises.

The other reason for converting to 20mph roads was to try and push motorists out of their cars and encourage walking, cycling and using public transport. Unsurprisingly, the report reveals there has been no shift in our travelling habits.  An unmitigated disaster by all counts then?

Bristol’s ex-mayor, George Ferguson, was a stanch believer in this 20mph blanketing, citing safer, cleaner roads where motorists would switch their engines for pedals, but when he was caught speeding himself in a 20mph zone, he didn’t do his cause any favours.  

Many motorists, including myself,  quickly realised the roads would not be cleaner either, on the contrary, they’d be more polluted.  My old fiat 500 twin air (at the time the cleanest and greenest production engine on the planet) was not able to go into 3rd gear when travelling under 20mph.  The vehicle would not comply and would quickly stall.  Meaning, I’d have to stay in second gear for far too long, the vehicles revs were continuously too high, drinking more fuel than was necessary and therefore causing excessive air pollution.  

In addition to the air quality argument there’s this. Low speed road zones were flagged up as early as 1992 by the Rover Group, who were concerned that catalytic converters do not work effectively at low speeds - and certainly over road humps - leading to staggering increases in Nitrous Oxide and/or Carbon Monoxide levels.  Slower doesn’t mean greener then.

It’s all too easy to wag fingers and say that this was a total waste of valuable money, but it’s important to understand why this expensive experiment has failed and perhaps we can put it right.

Edmund King, president of the AA, says: “We believe that targeted 20mph limits work best where they’re needed – outside schools or hospitals, or places where other vulnerable road users may be encountered. Speed limits need to reflect the nature of the road, and this report has vindicated the reservations of motorists with regard to 20mph zones”. (RAC website) 

If motorists know the reasons why the speed has fallen, they’ll arguably adhere to it and positively, be on the lookout for that type of hazard.  Figures show that drivers no longer slow down outside schools putting children at greater risk of accidents as too many streets have this consistently low speed and drivers do not take care when in an actual hazardous situation. 

When interviewed, the vast majority of residents are happy to support these 20mph zones, but it seems that once behind the wheel of a car, they instantly forget their own commitment to lower speeds. 

Is there a solution to this conundrum?  We all think it’s a good idea, in places, but the majority of us refuse to obey…could this be a solution?

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-6363507/Government-study-reveals-hardly-motorists-obey-20mph-speed-limits.html#v-3063143698209523385

The definite positive in all of this to bear in mind is that if anyone were to be hit by a car, the slower the vehicle, the better their chance of survival becomes. Therefore if the majority of motorists are speeding a little in a 20 mph zone, that used to be a 30, isn’t that an improvement?  

Share your thoughts on these 20 mph zones with us.

Posted 1 week ago
I contacted A-Class Driving School in a panic when my advanced / taxi driving test date came through earlier than expected. Although I had been driving for over 30 years, I had many bad habits and knew that an assessment of my current standard was likely to see me struggle to make the grade. Despite extreme short notice (my test was less than 10 days away when I called) Jim managed to find a slot for me within a few days and we met up at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway. The last time I had had an accompanied assessment, The Specials were at number 1 and Duran Duran had not yet had a hit single. But Jim was a superb instructor and, without destroying my confidence, constructively outlined exactly what I needed to address in a warm, friendly and professional manner. For half an hour he monitored my progress through busy streets until we stopped for a debrief. For the next half an hour Jim gently reminded me of faults, always using my first name and always picking up on errors when I hoped he had not noticed. For the final hour, Jim outlined exactly the standards that my test would demand while helping me to iron out so many of the bad habits that over 3 decades of unconscious repetition had helped to make permanent. The 2 hours I spent with Jim were absolutely invaluable - and ridiculously good value for money considering what was at stake for me. To any mature drivers with an advanced or taxi test looming then I would urge you to contact Will and his team for support and a refresher course. For any older mums and dads with young children, invest in a lesson or two to remind yourselves how our bad habits can make us far less safe on the road. You will be amazed at how much confidence you will gain and how much you will learn - even after decades of normal driving. So my review is not from a young learner who has recently passed their test. It is from an old dog who really could be taught new tricks by a talented instructor who took the time to return a desperate call and to deliver superb support when I really needed it. And did I pass? Yes I did - and with a commendation. Thank you Jim.

https://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile(a-class-driving-school)_125864.htm

Review No.348 has come in from Piers McBride, who passed his taxi test the other day with the help of one of A-Class Driving School’s instructors, Jim Walshe.

Thanks for the kind words Piers and good luck with your new career.

Posted 1 week ago

Learner Legal: How To Stay Safe On The Roads After Passing Your Test

So you’ve passed your driving test — congratulations! You’ve earned the freedom and independence to join the other 48 million motorists on the UK’s roads.

But with that independence comes responsibility. We should always strive to be better, safer drivers. Now you’re able to drive the roads solo, here are a few tips to help you stay safe on the road.

Never Use Your Phone While You’re Driving

This might seem like an obvious one, but there are thousands of motorists across the UK who regularly ignore this, often with dangerous results. Of course, using your mobile phone while you’re driving is illegal, and could result in you getting points on your licence, a hefty fine, or even an outright ban.

Even if you don’t actually use your mobile while driving, even the sound of it ringing can be enough to distract you from the road momentarily.

Keep your phone on silent and hidden away in a bag or glove compartment. If you really need to take a call, pull over somewhere safe to do so.

Don’t Give Lifts To Your Friends Right Away

When you’ve passed your test, it can be tempting to have your friends pile into your car for a long road trip somewhere. But while that sounds fun, it’s important that you keep distractions to a minimum in your early days of solo driving.

Having other people in the car talking to you or each other can divert your attention away from the road, increasing the chances of an accident. Instead, focus on getting used to driving alone.

When you’re comfortable being behind the wheel solo, you’ll be better prepared to drive with other people in the car.

Take Advantage Of The Latest Tech

Driving has changed hugely over the past ten years. In the past, drivers would have had to make do with common sense, heavy planning, and lots of practice. But today, there is a wide range of tech available to make driving easier and safer for everyone.

For example, many new cars come with built-in screens that provide real-time traffic updates and lane departure warnings. It’s sophisticated stuff that makes driving that bit easier. Also, you don’t even need to purchase an expensive sat nav anymore! You can just buy a specialised car holder for your mobile phone and you’re good to go. There’s plenty of other tech you can use too, such as parking sensors or a rear view camera like this.

Shop around to find the tech that you need to be a better, safer driver.

Always Take The Time To Rest

As you become more confident in your driving, you’ll feel ready to take longer journeys on the roads. These can be tiring, so it’s important that you take regular rest breaks whenever possible.

Accidents happen when you’re fatigued or sluggish, so don’t be afraid to pull over at a service station for a rest.

And even if you’re only nipping to the shops quickly, you should only do so if you feel fully rested. If you’re feeling tired, either get the bus or get someone else to drive.

Always Keep Learning

Just because you’ve passed your driving test, it doesn’t mean your learning stops. You should always keep learning and staying abreast of driving best practices.

You might also be interested in taking some advanced driving courses. These are optional lessons that are designed to give you a more solid footing behind the wheel.

Many are aimed at specific areas of driving, such as motorways or travelling in bad weather, so they’re great for improving on aspects you’re not confident about.

As well as advanced driving courses, there are also driving schemes such as Pass Plus that can improve your driving and keep you safer on the roads. Pass Plus consists of at least 6 hours of extra one-on-one tuition, and can even help bring down your insurance.

Now you’ve passed your test, you should always try to be the safest driver on the roads. Follow the tips above and always keep bettering yourself — it’s up to you to stay safe behind the wheel.

Posted 2 weeks ago
So happy to have passed and it was all because of how confident Paul made me feel with my driving. He made the lessons fun and even if I made a mistake he was patient and always allowed me to correct myself, Paul is very knowledgeable and was always happy to share information on what was to be expected during the test and practically any other car related question I had. He always made me laugh and I will and already have recommended him to friends looking to learn.

https://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile(a-class-driving-school)_125864.htm

Review number 347 has come in from Tia Clark, who passed her driving test with A-Class Driving School last week.  Tia learnt with Paul Hanley in a Citroen DS3 and cruised to passing success with just 3 minors at Bristol’s Avonmouth test centre.

If you’re looking to learn to drive in and around Bristol, why not call A-Class Driving School today on 07837796842 to book your driving lessons with us.

Lessons are £27.50 per hour or ten for £260.  NUS and NHS students can also receive a discount on single classes.  We offer a wide range of intensive driving courses starting from £500, along with motorway tuition, Pass Plus courses and refresher classes for those who already hold a licence.

Posted 2 weeks ago
Passed today and I can only put it down to my instructor Will. Every lesson was enjoyable and I never felt uncomfortable in the driving seat. Everything was explained in depth and because of this I am now capable of dealing with every situation that I am faced with. Would highly recommend to all as the service cannot be faulted.

https://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile(a-class-driving-school)_125864.htm

Review No.346 has come in from Jack Schafer, who passed his driving test with A-Class Driving School this week.  Thanks for the kind words and 5 star review!

If you’re looking to learn how to drive in and around Bristol, why not give A-Class Driving School a call?  We have a range of options available to suit everyone in getting their licence.

Regular classes are £27.50 per hour or ten for £260 when paid for in advance.  Intensive driving lessons and intensive driving courses to suit your needs.  From learning in just one week to spacing it out over a month and completing a semi-intensive course for those with far too many other commitments for something shorter.

Pass Plus courses and refresher classes are available for those who already hold a licence and looking for some additional training.

We offer discounts to those with NUS cards, our beloved NHS workers are eligible to receive a discount too along with the brave men and women of the armed services.

We help encourage you to learn whilst not at the wheel too with our ever expanding online driving tutorials, with step-by-step guides, photos and videos, covering all aspects of driving and to help reduce your costs and learning time.

We cover the majority of the Bristol area and have driving instructors who work evening and weekends, so there’s a great chance we’ll be able to help you get your licence and on the road to motoring freedom!

Posted 2 weeks ago
<p>We’d like to send out a massive congratulations this morning to Tia Clark, who after learning to drive with <a href="https://www.a-class-driving.com/">A-Class Driving School’s</a> Paul Hanley, passed her driving test with just 3 minors!  A wonderful achievement.</p><p>Well done Tia, see you on the road.</p><p>If you’re wanting to take driving lessons in and around Bristol, call A-Class Driving School today on 07837796842.  </p><p>We offer a range of options from single classes for £27.50 per hour to i<a href="https://www.a-class-driving.com/intensives.php">ntensive driving courses, block booking discounts, pass plus, refresher classes and motorway tuition.</a></p>

We’d like to send out a massive congratulations this morning to Tia Clark, who after learning to drive with A-Class Driving School’s Paul Hanley, passed her driving test with just 3 minors!  A wonderful achievement.

Well done Tia, see you on the road.

If you’re wanting to take driving lessons in and around Bristol, call A-Class Driving School today on 07837796842.  

We offer a range of options from single classes for £27.50 per hour to intensive driving courses, block booking discounts, pass plus, refresher classes and motorway tuition.

Posted 2 weeks ago
<p>A massive congratulations goes out this morning to Jack Schafer, who passed his driving test yesterday at Avonmouth Test Centre.  Jack earned his licence with just a few minors and passed first time, a great achievement.</p><p>Well done Jack, see you on the road!</p><p>If you’re wanting to learn how to drive in and around Bristol, why not call us today on 07837796842 to book your driving lessons with <a href="https://www.a-class-driving.com/">A-Class Driving School</a>.</p><p>Lessons are £27.50 per hour, or ten for £260 when paid for in advance.  We offer a range of<a href="https://www.a-class-driving.com/intensives.php"> intensive courses</a>, pass plus, motorway tuition and refresher classes for those who already hold a licence.</p>

A massive congratulations goes out this morning to Jack Schafer, who passed his driving test yesterday at Avonmouth Test Centre.  Jack earned his licence with just a few minors and passed first time, a great achievement.

Well done Jack, see you on the road!

If you’re wanting to learn how to drive in and around Bristol, why not call us today on 07837796842 to book your driving lessons with A-Class Driving School.

Lessons are £27.50 per hour, or ten for £260 when paid for in advance.  We offer a range of intensive courses, pass plus, motorway tuition and refresher classes for those who already hold a licence.

Posted 3 weeks ago
I’m very pleased with how quickly I was able to become a license holder, under the teaching of Will Dracott. He was very patient and great at explaining things and this is why I’d highly recommend A-Class Driving School to anyone wanting to learn to drive.

https://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile(a-class-driving-school)_125864.htm

Review No.345 has come in from Oliver Holbrook, who passed his driving test with A-Class Driving School the other week.

Thanks for the kind words and 5 star review Oliver.

If you’re looking to learn how to drive in and around Bristol, why not give us a call on 07837796842 to book your driving lessons today.

Single lessons are £27.50 an hour, or ten for £260 when paid for in advance.  

Intensive driving courses to suit - See more details here.

Pass Plus, motorway tuition and refresher classes also available.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Tutorial - Spiral Roundabouts

These very large, busy roundabouts are becoming more and more frequent these days, so it’s essential that learner drivers know how to deal with them correctly.  Failure to do so could be dangerous once they’re driving alone as lane disciple could easily lead to accidents.

Learners shouldn’t fear them.  Yes, they look big.  Yes, they’re always busy.  The good news is that the hardest part is done for us.  The decision to go or stop is now as simple as obeying the lights.

That difficulty is now replaced with the question ‘which lane should I be in?’ and staying in lane.

Let’s start from the beginning.  

On approach you’ll more than likely see signs showing you the lay out of the roundabout, which will help in making your decision about which lane to be in.  Look out for markings on the floor.  This could be in the form of arrows, or words showing you which lane is for where.  Quite often, the arrows will all point straight on.  This is to prevent anyone from trying to turn immediately right as soon as they reach the roundabout.  So don’t rely on the arrows 100%.

If you’re turning left, left hand lane.  It will never be wrong.  If you’re going straight across it could be the left, it could be the middle.  In the diagram below it’s the red arrows for straight and blue for left.  

image

Note how the red path started in the middle and by the time they passed exit 1, they’re now in the outside lane.  Hence the name, spiral.  The lanes push you outwards so hopefully you’ll leave the roundabout in your normal drive position. 

The abundance of markings all over the junction can sometime be confusing.  Follow the lie that applies to you and ignore the others.  your line should always be a smooth, gradual curve.  Keep an eye on the lines on the inside of which ever bend your on.  So if turning right, the markings on your right and vice versa for left. 

It’s turning right that causes the issue for those with minimal experience.  

image

The image above shows  the path you should be taking for turning right at this junction.  Right hand lane on approach, stay to the right.  By the time you reach the first set of lights (¼ of the way around the roundabout) you’ll be in the right hand lane still, but straight after, this is where you’ll need to spiral outwards.  By the time you’ve gone past exit 2 (the one opposite of where you came on) you should be in the outside lane.  

The blue arrows shows the correct path.  Often when there is markings confusion, at this spiralling stage, students can some time opt for the middle lane, the red arrows.  This is acceptable, but it does mean more work when you come off.  You’ll have to merge with cars on your left and come back to your normal position as soon as it’s safe to do so.  An unnecessary task if done correctly first time. 

image

Here we can see the same roundabout, just coming from a different direction.  The annotated diagram shows the ¼ way round point and another tip I often tell students to help get them across to the far lane, which sometimes isn’t guided with markings.  

If there are no lines to shepherd you across, aim the vehicle after the ¼ way around point towards the island on the far side.  Any car on your left at this point is going straight across.  You’ll not be cutting anyone up, but a check on your mirrors can’t hurt to make sure someone else isn’t getting it all wrong.

Don’t forget to MSM as you leave the junction, the same way as you would a normal roundabout. 

Not all spiral roundabouts are the same.  Some time they have 4, 5, 6 exits.  Some times multiple lanes can take you to the same place (the left is always the one to opt for as it’ll take you into your normal drive position when you come off).  Some times they’re well signed, some time they’re not.  Occasionally you’ll not have lights to help you on, in which case you treat it like a regular roundabout in terms of coming on.  The diagram below helps highlight some of these oddities.

image

Here there are two lanes for turning right, where all other approaching directions only have one and the green circle shows there are no lights helping you come on here and no lights on the actual roundabout itself at the ¼ of the way round stage for those coming from the right in this image.  

The lack of consistency is a challenge for those learning, so a slow approach and driving speed on these junctions will potentially give you the time to deal with any oddities whilst travelling around them.

The ten minute, annotated video below shows multiple attempts at these type of roundabouts from different directions and shows how you should negotiate them correctly.

Posted 3 weeks ago
Paul was my one week intensive course instructor. He may be strict on his teaching methods but that is to prepare you to train you to such a high level that you will find the test easy. I would definitely recommend a week intensive course as its the best way to pick up driving

https://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile(a-class-driving-school)_125864.htm

image

Review No.344 has come in for A-Class Driving School from Areya Dana, who passed his driving test  after undertaking a one week intensive driving course, first time with just 2 minors.  Thanks for the kind words and 5 star review!

If you’re looking to learn how to drive in Bristol, why not give us a call on 07837796842 to book your driving lessons today!

- Driving lessons are £27.50 per hour

- Intensive courses to suit everyone over 1, 2 and 4 week periods

- Pass Plus

- Motorway tuition

- Free driving tutorials on the website

- Established for 10 years with over 340+ reviews 

- NUS, NHS and Armed forces discount

- Award winning tuition vehicles all fitted with He-Man dual controls

- Over 100 years of experience between the 5 instructors at the school


Posted 3 weeks ago
a-class driving school's youtube channel, driving lesson videos, driving school video, a-class driving school's promo video, driving lessons bristol, driving schools bristol

 0783 779 6842

a_class_driving
@yahoo.co.uk