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 Post subject: Roundabouts
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 15:33 
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Not sure what anyone elses feeling are on this, but I have always found this kind of thing extremely strange and potentially dangerous.

The roundabouts I am talking about here are the smaller type roundabouts, usually found in built-up and semi built-up areas, although not mini-roundabouts.

You approach along a single carriageway, and then when you get to the roundabout, the road widens to two lanes. Neither lane is marked as a left turn or right turn only lane. The roads coming off each junction of the roundabout are also single lane. The actual road of the roundabout is also single lane.

I can never see the point of this. I know they are trying to aid traffic turning left or right, but without the lane markings it's pointless. All it seems to do is encurage idiots to try and overtake on a roundabout that can't accomodate two cars side-by-side. Even if they do squeeze past there the usual barging in involved when trying ot exit the roundabout.

You see the same soft of thing at traffic lights. The main lights in Farnham are a good example. Dual carriage way approach to lights where it becomes four lanes with left turn only on left hand side (which backs up and blocks inside lane of dual cirriageway). Then once across the junction you have 3 lanes of traffic trying to get into one lane! Absolute madness.

If we could sort out this sort of thing I'm pretty sure it would improve safety. Thoughts anyone?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 16:35 
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Hmm. Single lane roundabouts are actually quite a rarity, in my experience. What you describe sounds awful, how bad is the accident rate there?

There are all sorts of problems with roundabouts everywhere, though - from idiots with no sense of lane discipline to "left-lane huggers", the problem exacerbated with confusing or absent lane markings leading up to and around the roundabout. Councils have inconsistent policies - let me give you Birmingham. The famous Five Ways roundabout has (surprisingly) five entrances and exits, mostly two lanes, some three-lane. All are marked with arrows. The roundabout itself has room for three lanes, and "spiral" markings which gradually push you to your intended exit. It's busy, but by and large it works, allowing for idiots who pay no attention to others and cut you up just for fun (seemingly). Over on the other side of the city is Curzon Circle - four entrances, each with three lanes on approach. Again the roundabout has room for three lanes. However, the approach lanes have no arrow markings, the roundabout has no markings at all, and you can feel very insecure when the person who took the right lane on approach (for a right turn, surely?) turns out to be going straight on after all and you suddenly need to squeeze over to the left where another straight-on driver is in danger of meeting the wall! It's appalling, but better signage and lane marking would work wonders - with some police attention post-implementation for a week or two!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 17:49 
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Not sure of accident rates but it certainly seems to cause a lot of frustration.

Not sure if it's been fixed now but there used to be a roundabout like this on the A303 near Countess services where approach was two lanes, two lanes on roundabout and one lane on exit.

Many's a time I 've had some nutter scream past me onthat roundabout and slice me up on the exit.

Just seems daft as it is something that could be easily fixed.


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 Post subject: Re: Roundabouts
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 18:11 
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President Gas wrote:
You approach along a single carriageway, and then when you get to the roundabout, the road widens to two lanes. Neither lane is marked as a left turn or right turn only lane. The roads coming off each junction of the roundabout are also single lane. The actual road of the roundabout is also single lane.
I can never see the point of this. I know they are trying to aid traffic turning left or right, but without the lane markings it's pointless. All it seems to do is encurage idiots to try and overtake on a roundabout that can't accomodate two cars side-by-side. Even if they do squeeze past there the usual barging in involved when trying ot exit the roundabout.
I'd guess that maybe they're trying to make room for HGVs to go round without using the kerbs. The trouble is the small percentage of ***wits that think the slightest widening is a personal invitation for them to try to overtake. :roll: Narrowing the roundabout approaches and exits may deter the nutters, but be slightly too tight for artics which could result in the roundabout being repaired more often - and aren't they a pain in the arse when they're being dug up?
One possible solution could be to make as many roundabouts as possible proper two lane jobs. Either widen the roundabout itself a bit or shrink the central island slightly and paint a dashed line circle around two mark two lanes going around. Then make the approaches and exits wide enough to properly mark two lanes as well, and where necessary put arrows for right/left turn only. I'd also make the circular markings on the roundabout out of rumble strips so people know when they're crossing them (really does piss me off on larger laned roundabouts when people can't stay in the sodding lane, like the one in Farnham you mentioned - the one opposite the shed place, right? Frimley interchange is another one). Finally, to prevent idiots being crushed by artics I'd have a new type of warning sign along the lines of "HGVs Use Both Lanes" or something.
Okay, parachute on. I'm now ready to be shot down. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Roundabouts
PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 18:36 
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President Gas wrote:
You see the same soft of thing at traffic lights. The main lights in Farnham are a good example. Dual carriage way approach to lights where it becomes four lanes with left turn only on left hand side (which backs up and blocks inside lane of dual cirriageway). Then once across the junction you have 3 lanes of traffic trying to get into one lane! Absolute madness.

This maximises capacity through the junction, as it allows two lanes of traffic to wait at the lights and then merge in turn once they are past the crossing. However it can cause problems if there isn't sufficient merging space on the other side.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 22:15 
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Gatsobait, as an artic driver, these piddling little roundabouts are a pain in the proverbial, no one seem to know how to use them, much less allow for an artic, or rigid, to safely negotiate them.
There was an article in a trucking mag a while back about these little roundabouts and redesigned junctions seemingly to make life more difficult for trucks,
There is also a thought that these godforsaken abominations may have something to do with trucks losing wheels, all the extra torque on the wheels and wheelnuts as we try and get round the things.
Just think of all the extra stress on the studs, particularly on tri-axle trailers as they screw round them.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 00:16 
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Just thought maybe making space for artics is the thinking behind wide entrances and exits. Never said it was working, did I? :lol: :wink: Okay, it was only a guess, and clearly wrong if you guys are still having to bump your trucks over the kerbs. But a proper 2 lane approach would give room for two cars at a time or one truck, even on smallish roundabouts. I know a few like this and the trucks can negotiate them fine. Bracknell area is okay, but with all the Waitrose artics round there it needs to be.
The only time I've seen things go wrong is when a certain type of driver fails to realise that (a) the back end of the artic takes a shorter line across the roundabout than the cab, and (b) if you run into it the artic will win. The same morons carve cars up by taking a straight line across the roundabout and forcing anyone on the inside turning right to brake. That's why I'd like big signs warning that artics need more room and two marked lanes rund the roundabout with rumble strips for the idiots who can't stay in lanes.

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 Post subject: Re: Roundabouts
PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 23:27 
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President Gas wrote:
The roundabouts I am talking about here are the smaller type roundabouts, usually found in built-up and semi built-up areas, although not mini-roundabouts.

You approach along a single carriageway, and then when you get to the roundabout, the road widens to two lanes. Neither lane is marked as a left turn or right turn only lane. The roads coming off each junction of the roundabout are also single lane. The actual road of the roundabout is also single lane.
More common in my experience are single carriageway A rounds, which expand to 2 lanes on the approach to the roundabout and are 2 lanes all round the roundabout, but which then close to one lane immediately after the exit.

This is HUGELY dangerous.

Without markings, I think it's perfectly reasonable for a driver to think the expansion to 2 lanes is going to stay. But you look a right numpty if you don't know the junction and end up having to cut in.

So much easier and more sensible to mark the right lane as for right turning only.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 01:06 
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I've never been a fan of 2 lane roundabouts. I don't trust other drivers to stay in their lane or signal their intention to move lane, so I will often hang back when I am on the outside lane and they are on the inside, because it just seems inevitable that they are going to wander into the outside lane to take the next exit - perhaps indicating a few minutes after the manouvre. :) I guess if everyone treated them like me, though, it'd be no more efficient than a single lane roundabout.

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