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Brits vote on the best and worst roundabouts

20th December 2005 Print
The infamous Magic Roundabout has been voted the worst roundabout by British motorists according to a new survey by Saga Motor Insurance. The cluster of five mini-roundabouts on the A4312 in Swindon, Wiltshire, leaves drivers in a spin, often causing them to drive in the wrong direction.

Runner-up in the poll of 3,000 British motorists was The Plough roundabout in Hemel Hempstead. The notorious roundabout on St Albans‚ dual carriageway has grown over the years to cater with the accelerated traffic flow, however motorists don't seem to have grown any fonder of it.

Following closely behind at number three was the "Pork Pie" Roundabout in Leicester, one of the worst accident black spots in the city and named after the odd looking library in the middle of it. In fourth position was Ankerdrive, an enormous island with five roundabouts on it, between the A453 and B5000 in Tamworth, Staffs. Finally, in fifth position was the roundabout East of Tamar Bridge where a number of toll booths merge together.

But we clearly have a love/hate relationship with roundabouts.

The Traffic Light sculpture at Canary Wharf was voted the best-looking in the UK. Standing over eight metres tall with 75 fully working lights, it is shaped as a tree and mimics the 24-hour nature of the city. The Spitfire roundabout in Birmingham, commemorating WW2, came close second with Haverhill‚s light and laser spectacle, lying third in the poll. The Letchworth Garden City roundabout completed the list - which in 1926 was the first UK roundabout and still attracts visitors.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive, Saga, commented, "It would seem that roundabouts are a cause of celebration as well as consternation for the nation's motorists. It is interesting that the favourites appear to have been chosen for their aesthetic quality, rather than ease of navigation, while the worst have been selected for the opposite reasons."

"It would appear that women have the right attitude when it comes to roundabouts as their cautious approach does seem to result in fewer accidents."

Best Top 5

1. Traffic Light Tree: sculpture of traffic lights - Canary Wharf.
2. Spitfire - Birmingham. Commemorating WW2 efforts.
3. Light and laser show - Haverhill.
4. Frank Whittle Memorial - Creation of the jet engine
5. Letchworth Garden City

Worst Top 5

1. Magic Roundabout - Swindon
2. The Plough, Hemel Hempstead
3. "Pork Pie" roundabout, Leicester
4. Ankerdrive, Tamworth, Staffordshire.
5. A38 Tamar Bridge, East side

The poll also revealed people's widespread fears and concerns about negotiating roundabouts. Over 45 per cent of female motorists admit roundabouts make them nervous, compared to almost 20 per cent of men. But more men (12 per cent) than women (seven per cent) have had accidents while approaching or negotiating a roundabout.

More than 20 per cent of women and 18 per cent of men wrongly believe you do not need to indicate when going straight over a roundabout.