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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 10 hours 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

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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

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- Established for 10 years with over 340+ reviews 

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


Posted 1 day ago
<p>Congratulations to Areya Dana, who passed with A-Class Driving School last week after a one week intensive course and only 2 minors!</p><p>Well done Areya, see you on the road.</p><p>Driving lessons with us are £27.50 or ten for £260 if purchased in advance.  <a href="https://www.a-class-driving.com/intensives.php">Intensive driving courses</a> and lessons are available and prices vary depending on how many hours you want and over what time period, so it’s best to check the website for further details.</p>

Congratulations to Areya Dana, who passed with A-Class Driving School last week after a one week intensive course and only 2 minors!

Well done Areya, see you on the road.

Driving lessons with us are £27.50 or ten for £260 if purchased in advance.  Intensive driving courses and lessons are available and prices vary depending on how many hours you want and over what time period, so it’s best to check the website for further details.

Posted 4 days ago
<p>A massive congratulations to Oliver Holbrook, who passed his driving test with me and <a href="https://www.a-class-driving.com">A-Class Driving School</a> earlier in the week.</p><p>Oliver passed first time, with just 3 minors, a wonderful achievement.  Well done Oliver and see you on the road.</p><p>If you’re looking to learn how to drive in and around Bristol, why not call us today on 07837796842 to book your driving lessons in Bristol.</p><p>Single classes are £27.50 per hour or ten for £260 when paid for in advance.  <a href="https://www.a-class-driving.com/intensives.php">Intensive courses</a> also available, see the website for all the details on those.</p>

A massive congratulations to Oliver Holbrook, who passed his driving test with me and A-Class Driving School earlier in the week.

Oliver passed first time, with just 3 minors, a wonderful achievement.  Well done Oliver and see you on the road.

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

Single classes are £27.50 per hour or ten for £260 when paid for in advance.  Intensive courses also available, see the website for all the details on those.

Posted 5 days ago
I passed my driving test first time today thanks to Paul. I did a week intensive course with him and he was brilliant. He taught me everything I needed to know and I felt confident when driving, he has a lot of patience and wouldnt hesitate to tell me if I did something wrong and then explain to me how to fix it. I was able to have a laugh with Paul and felt comfortable while driving. Excellent driving instructor 10/10 would recommend.

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

Review No.343 has come in from Thomas Williams, who passed with A-Class Driving School in just a week and he’s left us another 5 star testimonial.  Thanks for the kind words Thomas.

Posted 5 days ago
<p>A massive congratulations goes out this morning to Amelia Anning, who passed her driving test with <a href="http://www.a-class-driving.com/">A-Class Driving School</a> the other day.  </p><p>Amelia undertook an intensive course with her Richard Miller, and after 30 hours earned her licence with just 2 minors, a wonderful achievement.</p><p>Well done to the pair of you and see you on the road!</p><p>If you’re looking to learn how to drive in and around Bristol, why not call us today on 07837796842 to book either regular driving lessons or an intensive course like Amelia.</p>

A massive congratulations goes out this morning to Amelia Anning, who passed her driving test with A-Class Driving School the other day.  

Amelia undertook an intensive course with her Richard Miller, and after 30 hours earned her licence with just 2 minors, a wonderful achievement.

Well done to the pair of you and see you on the road!

If you’re looking to learn how to drive in and around Bristol, why not call us today on 07837796842 to book either regular driving lessons or an intensive course like Amelia.

Posted 1 week ago
<p>A massive congratulations goes out this morning to Thomas Williams for passing his driving test yesterday with <a href="https://www.a-class-driving.com/">A-Class Driving School</a> and Paul Hanley.</p><p>Thomas undertook a one week, 20 hour intensive course and passed first time!  </p><p>Well done to the pair of you and see you on the road!</p><p>If you’re looking to learn how to drive in and around Bristol, why not call A-Class Driving School on 0783796842 to book your driving lessons today!</p><p>We don’t just teach people to learn within 5 days, although<a href="https://www.a-class-driving.com/intensives.php"> intensive courses</a> are popular, single lessons are £27.50 or ten for £260 when ten and paid for in advance.</p>

A massive congratulations goes out this morning to Thomas Williams for passing his driving test yesterday with A-Class Driving School and Paul Hanley.

Thomas undertook a one week, 20 hour intensive course and passed first time!  

Well done to the pair of you and see you on the road!

If you’re looking to learn how to drive in and around Bristol, why not call A-Class Driving School on 0783796842 to book your driving lessons today!

We don’t just teach people to learn within 5 days, although intensive courses are popular, single lessons are £27.50 or ten for £260 when ten and paid for in advance.

Posted 1 week ago

(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_hCkvBE3UY

We’ve started putting together video tutorials on the tougher elements of the driving exam at Bristol’s test centres.  It may take a while to cover it all seeing as there’s a few of them in Bristol.

Here’s one of the videos showing how to negotiate the three large roundabouts at Avonmouth (on the Avonmouth driving test centre routes) as if coming from Shirehampton towards the test centre at the end of the exam

Posted 2 weeks ago
Over the past 2 months I have been learning with Will around the Southmead area, Will always made sure I was comfortable with what I was doing and that I had a good understanding of how to handle all types of situations. On my test I had a bizarre variety of situations that without Will prior guidance I would’t have felt prepared for. He always had time for me and tailored the lessons to my needs right up to minutes before my test. I would highly recommend and could not be happier with my pass result!

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

Review No. 342 has come in from Josh Keeble who passed his driving test with A-Class Driving School the other day.  Thanks for the kind words and 5 star testimonial.

If you’re looking for a driving instructor in Bristol, why not call us today on 07837796842 to book your driving lessons.  Classes are £27.50 per hour, £26 for NUS students, NHS staff and the armed forces. Motorway tuition, Pass Plus and intensive driving courses available.  

Posted 2 weeks ago

Law Changes

There’s been a bit of a shake up recently regarding driving speeds and the law.  Pretty much everyone I speak to, leaner and licence holder alike seem to be completely oblivious to the changes, so I thought I’d put together this little post to help clarify and inform you of the changes you really need to know about right now.

Speeding
The law changed back in 2017 and the aim was to severely punish those who were regarded as being reckless. 

What do these bands mean?  It’s the severity of the punishment.

Band A 50% of weekly income   -   3 points and a fine

Band B 100% of weekly income   -   4 to 6 points, 7-28 day ban and a fine

Band C 150% of weekly income   -   6 points, 7-56 day ban and a fine

These are all starting points for fines and could potentially be increased (or decreased) depending on the circumstances.  Weather, population density, location, heavy loads and passengers in the vehicle, towing and previous track record would all come into play when receiving your final chastisement.

It’s not just a monetary punishment either. In addition penalty points will be added and if you’re a newly qualified driver, you could see yourself back at the theory and practical test centre very quickly if you pick up 6 or more points within your first two years.

There is the potential salvation of the Speed Choice Workshop, but this would only be available to good citizens who breach the limit within band A.

Using Phones and Sat Navs

It’s illegal to use an electrical device whilst behind the wheel of a car with the engine on.  Any phones being used should be done so with hand free access.  Sat Navs should NOT block your view of the road or traffic ahead (so no sticking it in the middle of the window).  You must be in full control of your vehicle at all times and if the police think you are distracted in anyway, you can be prosecuted.

It’s a 6 point fine and £200 if you are caught using a phone and if you are a newly qualified driver - you will lose your licence.  

If your Sat Nav is blocking your view of the road ahead due to positioning, it’s a 3 point fine. 

Again, these are starting points for the authorities. It’s possible to be banned from driving and for fines to rise to £2000!

If you were involved in an accident and someone was killed, you could be going to prison for 14 years and currently the government are considering raising this limit to life!

If you’re wondering why is all this so steep, check out what people are happy to admit to he RAC.

Other Laws you should be aware of

Flashing lights - This should only be to warn others of your presence, not to say thank you or to encourage other cars to come down tunnel of vehicle situations to pass each other.

Throwing rubbish from the window - Even bio-degradable rubbish is illegal.

Driving with snow on the roof - Think of what could happen to the people behind you when they get a windscreen full of your roof snow.

Paying for a drive through meal with smart phone - It’s that no touching tech behind the wheel rule.  You’d have to turn the car off first before getting the phone out to pay.

Eating - It’s not necessarily illegal, but if you’re snacking and driving dangerously, then your in trouble.

Barefoot - Again, not illegal, but if you’re driving is sub standard, you could be prosecuted.

Smoking - If you’re in the car with anyone under 18 it’s illegal.  

Unattended cars with engines on - Can’t warm your car up in winter unattended.

Learner drivers allowed on motorways - As long as it’s with a qualified driving instructor.

Clearance distance for cyclist - Driving instructors tell their students to leave at least two meters when overtaking a cyclist.  Anything inside of 1.5 meters would see you picking up a £100 fine.

Engine Idling - £20 fine for sitting parked up with the engine on for no apparent reason.  Air pollution and health risks are the reason.

Loose pets - It might be cute to have your dogs head hanging out of the window, but it needs to safely stowed away. 

Splashing Pedestrians - It’s pretty low soaking people on the kerb.

Failing to inform the DVSA of address changes - It’s a legal document, it needs to be kept current.

Swearing at other drivers - Try not to let road rage get the better of you. 

Posted 2 weeks ago
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