Britain’s very first Dutch-style roundabout has this month opened to the public in Cambridge, and local residents aren’t happy about it. Described as a ‘killing zone’ and ‘confusing’, with the cost of the scheme originally estimated at £800k, residents are furious at the final outcome of the project costing £2.3m.
The difference between this Dutch-style roundabout and normal ones is the fact there is an additional outer ring where cyclists and pedestrians have priority. This has caused some rage for many motorists, understandably, as they’re used to having priority. It has led to one big question. Is this the first of many across the UK?
The UK’s first Dutch-style roundabout which prioritises cyclists and pedestrians over motorists has opened in Fendon Road, Cambridge pic.twitter.com/cYi2Ikz2z5
— Joe Giddens (@jjgiddens) August 6, 2020
Ian Bates, chairman of the Highways and Transport Committee said: ”I am delighted to see the completion of improvements to this roundabout, which aim to improve safety at this busy junction and encourage more people to walk and cycle.
“It is great to see Cambridgeshire leading the way in implementing the first truly Dutch-inspired roundabout that improves safety for vulnerable users, ahead of recent nationally published Government guidance that strongly promotes this type of infrastructure.”
What are Dutch-style roundabouts?
Dutch-style roundabouts have a design which has an outer and inner ring, which gives priority to cyclists and pedestrians, meaning vehicles will have to wait for them to cross.
The car carriageway widths are narrower, which regulates a slower approach and departure speed to and from the roundabout in the inner ring. On the outer-most rings are zebra crossings for pedestrians with a right of way over vehicles. And cyclists have their own outer ring cycle path – in contrasting red tarmac – to give them an equal priority with pedestrians over each arm.
The Future of Cycling
The government is now also offering £50 bike repair vouchers to encourage people to get back on their wheels. The scheme is one of the many changes the government has put into place to tackle obesity, with Public Health England research indicating that overweight or obese people are at greater risk of serious illness or death after contracting Covid-19…