I have just been reading an article about Cambridge's crazy roundabout that operates in the Dutch style. This means there are new give-way rules for cars, bicycles and pedestrians.
I appreciate the council is just looking at ways to make roads safer, but I'm not sure a confusing roundabout system — one that operates contrary to every other roundabout in the UK — is the answer. Ultimately, safety is better served by the separation of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
We no longer exist in an era where Dick, Georgina and their dog Timmy can cycle the roads and solve crimes without ever meeting a car. Councils sometimes just don't seem to have realised that times have moved on and road use is significantly higher these days.
What we need are cycle paths and walkways that are physically separate from roads. I know it's hard to back-fit a system like that into our existing infrastructure, but even brand new road networks are still shoving all modes of locomotion together.
If you want an idea of how ludicrous that is, imagine if cars had to share the same infrastructure as trains. It would be a nightmare, and a dangerous one. Yet we keep throwing motorists, cyclists and pedestrians together and then we whinge when one of them has an accident.
We need to be introducing separation, which will have the beneficial side-effect of speeding up all modes of transport, reducing journey times and increasing safety. Harebrained roundabouts aren't the answer.