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Saturday, 22 January 2011

How to Survive an English Roundabout

Roundabouts can be so confusing. There can be many different lanes and if you get it wrong, there is the danger that the other drivers will beep you, or worse! The way to survive an English roundabout is to be clear about which lane you should be in and to stay in your lane. If you miss your turn, then do not worry, you can always go all the way round and get off at your exit. There are usually signs well before you get to the roundabout to tell you which lane to be in and the names or numbers of the roads to tell you where to go. A Blue sign tells you that there is a roundabout approaching.

Then later on, more signs tell you which roads lead off the roundabout at the different exits. In general, it is quite straightforward if you follow the rules.

  • Drive on the Left in England
  • Go around it in a clockwise direction.
  • Stay in your lane until you come to your exit.
  • The left hand lane is usually for turning left or going straight ahead.
  • The right hand lane is usually for turning right, unless it is also for going straight ahead.
  • If there are three approach lanes, then the middle one is definitely for going straight ahead.
  • Cyclists decide where they should be positioned according to where they are going. Each cyclist is unique and must be watched carefully. 
  • Give way to traffic coming from the right. 
  • The rule is: Do not enter the roundabout unless your exit is clear. Many people do not understand this. 
  • Once someone is already on the roundabout, then it is their right of way. There is no point beeping them.
  • If you are half way round and your exit is blocked, then it is polite to leave a gap so that cars coming from the left lane can go round. Again, many people ignore this and leave no gap. They have to sit there, blocking the lane and getting glared at by drivers in that lane.
  •   If you miss your exit, then simply go around the whole roundabout again until you see the correct exit. 
  • If there are many exits and a lot of lane markings, work out which one yours is and stick to that lane.
  • There may be traffic lights any where around the roundabout.

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