Already used all over Holland, these roundabouts give right of way to cyclists and pedestrians before drivers. The intention? They’re supposed to save lives – but could they be a nightmare to use for motorists?
If successful, you could be looking at the future of British roundabouts. Being built in Cambridge for the princely sum of £1 million, the roundabout features a dedicated cycle path marked in red going round the entire structure.
Meanwhile, members of the public will be able to use the new pedestrian zebra crossings going across each of the four entry and exit arms.
To further protect cyclists and pedestrians, the roundabout also features a visual reduction in carriageway width for vehicles. The upshot? It will help slow cars that are approaching the roundabout because the new design makes it appear as if there is less width to manoeuvre within.
Larger vehicles will still be able to use a central overrun strip in the middle of the road but again, the design is intended to make the vehicles slow down more than they typically would.
The reason for the introduction of the new-style roundabout is that there has been a high number of cyclists involved in crashes at the existing the Fendon Road and Queen Edith’s Way roundabout, and the council believes the new approach is the best way to reduce the problem.
Having a Dutch style roundabout which separates vehicles from vulnerable road users should be a win for road safety in Cambridge. It will be interesting to see how this benefits all road users and if they are worth considering in other parts of the country.”
– Rebecca Ashton, IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Driver Behaviour
Some Cambridge residents though are not convinced by the planned change with some believing the roundabout could actually do more harm than good according to local newspaper Cambridge News.
“Can’t wait for everyone (yes everyone) to get confused and the accidents to start happening,” Paul Howell told the paper while A Hughes stated: “If it works, great. If it doesn’t work, at least it’s near Addenbrookes [hospital] so the ambulances won’t have far to come.”
Question is what do you think? A step in the right direction for public safety or a potential liability on Britain’s busy roads?