Driving in Britain / Fahren in England

magicsign.jpg

This picture of the Magic Roundabout sign (Bennets End Counterflow Roundabout) was taken from the SwindonWeb site, where there is also a good aerial photo.

In Britain there are huge counterflow roundabout systems, like the Bennets End one. You have four or five mini-roundabouts embedded in a big roundabout. I wish some of the ‘German’ drivers I encounter on my drives could be sent to one of them.The site with the Bennets End diagram was written by an American who also sells a book on Driving in Britain.

Mini-roundabouts are becoming more common in Germany. Here’s a picture of one in Waiblingen. This is just marked until they see how well it works. Big building contractors’ lorries are supposed to drive straight across, and so apparently do half the car drivers. The newspaper suggested putting up a fake policeman (Polizistenattrappe) in the middle, but to date this idea has not been taken up.

5 thoughts on “Driving in Britain / Fahren in England

  1. Auch bei uns kommen die Verkehrsplaner langsam darauf, dass Kreisverkehre keinen Unterhalt kosten und die Staus vermindern.

  2. Ja, fällt schon auf (siehe Waiblingen-Link auf der zweiten Seite – zuerst find der Eintrag so an, dann wollte ich lieber das Bild vorne haben).

  3. The whole thing looks to me like a cornfield circle set in tarmac. I doubt that, with a left-hand drive car, I would make it to the other side without hitting something or (getting roundly cursed). I get cursed enough going very slowly round and round the Étoile in Paris but in Swindon I stand a chance of understanding what they are saying. I wonder why they took the pictures at a time of such light traffic? That just doesn’t make sense. For those few cars, no roundabout is necessary at all, let alone five of them! Derek

  4. When I was researching it, I did indeed find an article relating mini roundabouts to corn circles, Stonehenge etc.
    Here’s another nice site for you: http://www.cbrd.co.uk/index.shtml
    Chris’s British Road Directory. The FAQ tells you what a totso is (turn off to stay on), and there are sections on Bad junctions, and (under botched plans) I-Spy incomplete roads (on the M1 or M53 there are complete junctions that were never opened to traffic).

  5. Derek, I think you’ll find that most of the time there isn’t more traffic at the Magic Roundabout than as you see on those pictures. And during rush hour it’s fairly easy to get through it, as everything slows to a crawl anyway. But the real fun thing about it are all the different ways to go through it. Just last week I managed to overtake someone by just driving through it a different way ;-)

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