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Whilst I fully agree with most of your post, I don't think it's not worth investing in underground rail personally. The Mayor's early stage proposals for such a network (which is estimated to cost less than Cross rail, which effectively lavished London with yet more high quality public transport provision) would solve most of the cities problems. The government will never cough up the money for a city made up of labour constituencies surrounded by an entire region of safe as houses blue though.Public transport in Bristol is laughably bad. Train services are worse than in some rural areas in terms of frequency and reliability and the buses just get stuck in traffic and don't seem to ever go where you need them to! We've had a 'metrobus' network installed in recent years, which are buses that run in concrete channels on the existing road network and frankly it's all a bit of a joke.
The problem is the city is just too hilly for a light rail or tram system and not really big enough to warrant an underground network. The main rail hub (Temple Meads) is also nowhere near the city centre so the existing rail network is limited in its usefulness.
People do often cycle but again, hills, and the lack of dedicated cycle lanes makes it very hazardous. Not an option for me as I have no natural balance.
Basically you need a car. And not a diesel because of the Clean Air Zone restrictions.
Thankfully, I decided to go with an automatic instructor, so one element of stress (gears) is removed from it; I decided not to bite off more than I can chew, as I always thought that manual driving looked like a lot of things to focus on for someone like me.There's no harm in giving driving a go, Matt. I'd advise making your instructor aware of any issues you have like spatial awareness and coordination so they can help you in those areas. My instructor was also a teaching assistant at my secondary school, so he knew me a bit anyway. which was quite helpful. If you find it's not for you, then don't worry about it too much.
I've been wanting to learn to drive for a few years now, but my parents have always been wary and don't think I'm capable. From the start I had decided myself that an automatic would be better for me because of my coordination. Hopefully I'll be able to try one day as public transport (busses especially) is here in Sheffield.Thankfully, I decided to go with an automatic instructor, so one element of stress (gears) is removed from it; I decided not to bite off more than I can chew, as I always thought that manual driving looked like a lot of things to focus on for someone like me.
I know that learning in an automatic will mean that I don't have a full driving license, and can only drive in automatic cars, but I thought that might make me more comfortable with driving, and to be honest, most cars are going automatic anyway; once we've banned petrol & diesel cars, the world will be automatic only.
I am still nervous, though... I feel like there's a lot riding on me knowing how to drive. Even if I don't drive long distances, it would still be a helpful skill to have so that I can take myself to the train station to get places as opposed to relying on someone else to take me.