How do I handle a large, busy roundabout?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Posts: 28841
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: How do I handle a large, busy roundabout?

Postby thirdcrank » 28 Nov 2012, 9:13pm

horizon wrote: ... This will remove the additional route lines.

Thanks for that. As for the other one, it's for a younger generation of campaigners to fix.

User avatar
Posts: 10173
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: How do I handle a large, busy roundabout?

Postby horizon » 28 Nov 2012, 9:17pm

I've cycled a few times round that one (it's in Newbury). TBH I didn't think it as bad as people sometimes make out. What I liked was the "statement" about cycles - the green lines were a good reminder as well as an indication as to where cyclists may be encountered. Others, I know, may disagree. I am just wondering whether the OP would appreciate such markings on his roundabout, or not?
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

Posts: 14
Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 8:59am
Location: Leeds, West Yorks

Re: How do I handle a large, busy roundabout?

Postby Biketyke » 28 Nov 2012, 10:26pm

I cross this roundabout every day. The left turn only lane is only two or three car lengths long and usually blocked by the standing traffic behind so there isn't a stream of traffic flowing through it. Also any vehicles in this lane are usually waiting at the give way line ready to go and well over to the left ready to go left which leaves the right side of that lane clear. I stay in this lane about a yard to left of the inside straight on lane. In this position you are out of the way of the traffic in the straight on lane which allows them to do their Le Mans starts and you can also set off at the same time as them. On the roundabout staying on the edge of the inside lane sometimes crossing into the hatched area as you cross the Ring Road. Most vehicles try to cut the corner so rarely come out to the edge. Make eye contact with the drivers on the three lanes joining from the ring road. They usually block each others view enough to have to stop and look properly and there is such a vast amout of road to look at that they generally check carefully although I am always watchful of vehicles moving upto the line. I think it is more dangerous when the traffic is lighter as some cars will cross this roundabout at 30 - 40mph without stopping if they get a clear view, so check for any flyers from the right. Where you don't want to be is in the straight on lane with a vehicle behind you as they will be looking over their right shoulder for flyers coming from the right also, it can be intimidating to drive this roundabout especially as the number of lanes on the roundabout are different to the number on Otley Road. I think I am more worried about crossing the end of Old Otley Road two hundred yards further on.

Posts: 247
Joined: 3 May 2010, 11:48am

Re: How do I handle a large, busy roundabout?

Postby aprildavy » 28 Nov 2012, 11:18pm

I regularly make a right turn across the Baker's Arms dual lane roundabout near Poole, Dorset, which is a fast A road joining a fast dual carriage way. I take up position exactly as if I was a car in the centre of the right hand entry lane, but it usually requires a full blown standing sprint (while working up the gears) into the inner lane for at least a while, then check left, signal left, move to the left lane, exit, all the while making sure the traffic entering the roundabout has seen me. It's one of the reasons I moved to combined gear and brakes - ie shifters on the handlebars. Changing gears on the bar ends or down tube isn't fast enough. If I couldn't make about 20 mph on the roundabout I wouldn't attempt to cross it by bike, Getting off may be the safe option! :D

Posts: 28841
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: How do I handle a large, busy roundabout?

Postby thirdcrank » 29 Nov 2012, 7:58am

Biketyke wrote: ... I think it is more dangerous when the traffic is lighter ...

That's a very important point. I've only been hit by a motor vehicle twice in over 50 years and one of them was on a normally busy roundabout (Tingley, pre-traffic light control) when traffic was dead (holiday between crimbo and New Year.) Driver came down slip road from motorway and looked straight through me.

User avatar
Posts: 798
Joined: 9 May 2008, 8:29pm
Location: South Bucks

Re: How do I handle a large, busy roundabout?

Postby 7_lives_left » 29 Nov 2012, 1:26pm

Totally off topic but many years ago I had a disturbing road rage incident on a usually busy roundabout. It's junction 3 of the M40 at Loudwater which is unusual because only has slip roads for traffic to and from the London direction only. The other major route at the junction is the A40 which parallel to the motorway. There are also a couple of minor roads at the roundabout, one of which the entrance to an out of town supermarket which way my destination.

I was on a minor road, joining the roundabout with motorway slip road to my left. I was taking the third exit for the supermarket. First exit is A40 west bound towards High Wycombe, second exit is A40 east bound for Beaconsfield. I joined the roundabout and there was time for the car waiting behind me to also join the round about. However a second car was also joining the roundabout from the motorway slip road to my left. The first car is between me and the second car. All three of us are travelling at my pace which is slow because the roundabout is on a slope and I am going uphill. The second car starts issuing long blasts on his horn but he is no threat to me because first car is between me and him and it's driver is keeping cool. The second car exits at the A40 for Wycombe with his horn still sounding. I look to my left to see him take the exit and he is gesticulating wildly. I rather foolishly give him a one finger salute, thinking that will be the last I see of him. I continue on my way. The first car behind me peels off at the A40 beaconfield exit, and I head into the supermarket to park up. Several mintutes later just as I am getting ready to dismount and park up the bike, the second car pulls up beside me. I am on the passenger side of the car. The front window is open. There is a small boy sat in the front passenger seat. The driver is leaning across and he is rabid with rage. He says he wasn't even sounding his horn at me but at the first car that was immediately behind me. Fortunately he doesn't get out of the car. I say nothing. I wait until he has finished what he has to say and he drives off. I park the bike and wait outside discretely for about 5 minitues with the bike in sight to make sure he really has cleared off.

In other circumstances this would have been comical, but it wasn't at the time, I feared that this driver was going to get violent.

Back on topic, at rush hour this roundabout and the ajoining roads/slip roads have stationary traffic on them and the roundabout is simple to negotiate.