John Kelly in his Voxford blog recently recounted the story of a bus journey from Oxford to Cambridge. The bus traversed seventy-one roundabouts; he kept a tally. He seems to think that it was surprising that he encountered ten in Milton Keynes alone. Since there are about three hundred roundabouts in the town, going round ten as you pass through seems far from surprising.

I do understand why an American does feel that this number of roundabouts is worth noting, as they are extremely uncommon road junctions here in the US. There are about 1000 roundabouts in the country as of January 2006, with ten percent of them in the state of Utah ( The city of Fairfield has just one, which is outside the urban area in the farm land that borders the freeway. It is the only roundabout that I know of in the area.

In the US junctions four way Stop signs or traffic lights are more commonly used. This is despite evidence from the California traffic authority that roundabouts reduce accidents and delays at junctions compared to those methods.

One of my colleagues at work who has recently spent a lot of time in the UK has observed nother advantage – if you are not sure which way to go at a juction the roundabout allows you the opportunity to go round a few times while you reach a decision.

Published in: on 23 May, 2008 at 21:25  Leave a Comment  

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