Ah, the roundabout – a simple circle so many people find so difficult to get their head (and car) around.
The roundabout is a truly British phenomena – and it’s the West Country you have to thank for them as they were invented in Bath way back in 1768.
Although hundreds of years have passed, it can sometimes feel like some people’s understanding of them is way back in the 1700s.
But, whether you like it or not, the fact remains roundabouts are a vital part of driving in the UK. There are more than 60,000 of them around the world and the UK has more than any other country.
Improper use of a roundabout is one of many driver’s biggest bug bears, but these are some of the many roundabouts which really grind Bristolians’ gears…
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The double roundabout near Southmead Hospital at the Lidl junction
One of the Bristol Live team flagged this as a nasty roundabout. They said: “I don’t know why it can’t just be a traffic-light-controlled junction.”
Readers were in agreement, with one saying: “People don’t seem to realise the double roundabout in Southmead is a double roundabout. The number of people I see going straight across both is crazy. And the reason I hate it.”
This is one that came up time and time again when we asked people what their most-hated roundabout in Bristol was.
One person said the council has tried to ‘make it simple’ but people simply don’t get it.
Another reader said: “It’s still not clearly signed, as people get it wrong constantly. I always end up getting cut up on that bad boy regardless of which direction I’m coming from – it’s even more fun when it’s wet and dark.”
Lawrence Hill roundabout
It’s one of the bigger roundabouts in Bristol, and with size comes confusion – mainly about which lane to get in.
We don’t think it can be put any better than this short but sweet summary from one of Bristol Live’s reporters: ‘It’s pretty shocking – no-one knows what lane to be in’.
North Street/Dean Lane/Cannon Street roundabout
The roundabout in front of the Steam Crane in Bedminster was described as “a nightmare” by one reader.
The roundabout – which sits at the junction of North Street, Dean Lane and Cannon Street – has been called dangerous, and earlier this year, Bedminster heroes ‘lifted a car’ off a trapped cyclist at this spot.
Old Market Roundabout
This roundabout is just outside Bristol Live’s office – so we can vouch for the fact there seems to be a near-miss on it almost every day.
If there’s not an almost-accident, it’s a roundabout which inspires a lot of road rage as traffic queues back from Temple Way – and the traffic lights don’t seem to help matters at all.
The roundabout at the top of Blackboy Hill
The A4018 is a treat for pedestrians, but mayhem for drivers. The roundabout is at the point where Redland Hill meets Westbury Road and Blackboy Hill.
If you’re coming from Stoke Road and want to head down towards Whiteladies Road, be prepared to spend some time sitting at the junction until the rest of the roundabout clears.
It’s on one of the main routes into Bristol, so perhaps it’s no surprise Redcliffe Roundabout has been called ‘a nightmare’. One person said: “It takes about half an hour to actually get onto the roundabout from Redcliff Street (from the north).”
Another said: “Redcliffe roundabout is a pain whichever direction you come from, especially if you’re coming up from the co-op and there’s a throng of people crossing the road.”
The roundabout by Redcliffe Bascule Bridge
This the roundabout in front of Hole in the Wall and Severn Shed. It got flagged to us for ‘always, always being clogged up at rush hour’. One person said: “It’s on the M2 route but the roundabout is so small that the buses coming up the road past Thekla can only get onto it if the exit is clear, otherwise they block the whole roundabout. So it takes ages for them to get across onto the bus lane on the bridge.”
Another said: “The new one-way bus lane across Redcliffe Bridge has made that worse.”
White Tree Roundabout
This roundabout is less dangerous, and more annoying – particularly if you’re joining it from Westbury Park. The road joins North View road about 10 yards from the entrance to the roundabout, meaning at rush hour it can often take 10-15 minutes for a kind driver to finally let you out (and then you’ve still got to wait to get on to the roundabout itself).
South Bristol Link Road
This is Bristol’s newest big roundabout – so what could possibly be wrong with it? The roundabout is at the point where the South Bristol Link Road crosses the A38 Airport road.
Well, one reader called it ‘stupid and pointless’ while another said the lane markings are ‘really confusing’.
There’s evidence to back up that it might not be the safest, too… as when the link road was opened the transport minister came down and within 15 minutes of it officially opening, there was a crash on the roundabout.
Abbey Wood roundabout
This one came up a few times, with one driver saying: “Too many drivers don’t use the correct lane, if you’re generous it’s because the markings and signs aren’t clear and if you’re not its because people don’t pay attention.”