Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Driving through Bingley

Today I had probably my most enjoyable driving lesson yet. Some of them have felt like a chore; this one felt like I had achieved something. We moved off the quiet housing estates onto busy main roads, starting at the far end of Crossflats and then driving through Bingley on the old A650, then up through Cottingley, Sandy Lane, Allerton and then into Bradford, stopping short of the Victoria Morrisons on Thornton Road.

It’s a major change for me – instead of driving around in circles and having little more than a few park cars to move around, we now had traffic at 30 and 40 miles per hour, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and dual carriageways. And bar a few minor issues I actually did well. Best of all, this was the first lesson where I didn’t stall the car once.

About the only major problem I had was finding 3rd gear – I kept wandering back into 1st instead, which the car really did not like since I was travelling at 25-30 mph at the time. That’s something we’re working on next week, apparently.

But my driving lessons have gone from being something I’ve felt that I’ve had to do to something I’ve really wanted to do – my confidence has been building and I’m now actually looking forward to my lessons rather than dreading them.


  1. Yarr, that be soundin like a good lesson. Get some rum in ye now, me lad.
    (Have ye forgotten talk like a pirate day?)

  2. I’m surprised you’ve only just got into busy traffic. I was on a dual carriageway on my third lesson. Spose it depends who you learn with and where you live.

  3. I can drive fine with an automatic, but manual is quite foreign to me. I’d probably stall out every 15 seconds. I would love to learn though.

  4. I’m with BSM, and my instructor’s style is to make the basics rock solid before moving onto the harder stuff, which works for me. Bradford doesn’t have a lot of dual carriageways but it does have a lot of hills so there’s more emphasis on starting and stopping on slopes, for example.
    I’m sure an automatic would be nice but I think I’m best learning on a manual. 🙂

  5. I always struggled with third gear too – you may want to try just moving the gear stick by using your fingertips to push/pull the stick rather than clasping your entire hand around the stick. When I did that, the likelyhood of getting into the correct gear went to 100%