Safety review into Britain's first £2.3m Dutch style roundabout

Safety review into Britain’s first £2.3m Dutch style roundabout giving priority to bicycles highlights TEN issues including a risk drivers will miss cyclists and ‘poor illumination’

  • The Dutch-style roundabout opened on Fendon Road in Cambridge in July
  • But safety audit team reported 10 problems during a site visit a month later
  • Issues over poor illumination and risk of drivers ‘not spotting second cyclists’
  • Auditors even witness ‘collision between car and motorcycle’ during their visit

Cyclists are at risk of being knocked down by car drivers because of design faults on Britain’s first Dutch-style roundabout, a report has warned.

The £2.3 million road project opened on Fendon Road in Cambridge in July with the goal of giving better protections to cyclists and pedestrians. 

It uses a two-ring system gives them right of way over cars and lorries at all entrances and exits.

But during a site visit in August, a safety audit team reported 10 problems, including ‘areas of poor illumination’.

Cyclists are at risk of being knocked down by car drivers because of design faults on Britain’s first Dutch-style roundabout, a report has warned

The auditors found a there was a ‘risk’ that exiting drivers who had already given way to one cyclist could set off too early ‘as they cannot see a second cyclist’, according to the BBC.

Another issue picked up from a previous audit was ‘an abrupt left turn’ at one exit which ‘may destabilise some cyclists leading to falls’.

It is believed the problem has not so far been addressed.

Royal HaskoningDHV UK, charged with auditing the roundabout, suggested that motorists who gave way to cyclists as they prepared to exit the roundabout would find it ‘hard to observe a second cyclist approaching from behind’. 

The auditors found a there was a ‘risk’ that exiting drivers who had already given way to one cyclist could set off too early ‘as they cannot see a second cyclist’, according to the BBC 

The firm said it was their ‘considered opinion that while in such instances the cyclists would typically be able to stop in time… the consequences and likely severity of any collision involving vulnerable users is such that further consideration is necessary’.

Cambridgeshire County Council said it would ‘make any changes if needed’. 

It is also reported that during the site visit there was ‘a collision between a car and motorcycle’, with a council representative present.

A spokeswoman for the authority said ‘there have been no reported accidents or incidents’ on the roundabout since its 31 July opening.

She added that the safety audit aimed to ‘highlight any potential issues’ and ‘the design evolves, and alterations are made in response to audits to ensure the scheme is as safe as possible’. 

In August, the roundabout was forced to close days after its launch when a car hit an unfinished beacon, sparking fear it may have caused underground structural problems to the pole.

The damage left workmen with no choice but to shut it for three nights to carry out a full inspection.

The Dutch-style roundabout gives right of way to cyclists who go around it on an outer ring while motorists enter and exit from an inner ring, although they need to check that cars stop.

Zebra crossings on each approaching road also mean that vehicles have to give way to pedestrians. 

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