Roundabouts, routeboards and lane choice

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Fenfen
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Location: Shropshire

Roundabouts, routeboards and lane choice

Postby Fenfen » Wed Apr 19, 2023 12:03 am

I had a little read through a prior thread from over a half a decade ago on the subject of roundabouts and lanes (https://www.advanceddrivinghub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=652), but I felt it made sense to make a new one to discuss a couple of roundabouts in the Shropshire/Powys area rather than try resurrect the old one.

I've been driving for around a decade now, but I still feel I struggle to understand what is the correct way to approach these roundabouts when going straight on. I've seen people commonly using either the right or left lane on both of these roundabouts. There are no lane arrow markings on either roundabout.

Battlefield roundabout in Shrewsbury - Approaching from the south, exiting A49
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.7464835,-2.7179888,19z
This one I approach in the left lane to go straight on as the routeboard pictured shows the exit as being at 12 o'clock. But when going around the roundabout it feels more like it's past 12 - it feels a long way around that roundabout! Every now and then I find that drivers entering the roundabout at the 2nd exit misjudge that I'm going straight on and believe I'm exiting at the 2nd exit and therefore they end up either cutting closely infront or are clearly surprised and they end up heavily braking.

bf.jpg
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A fairly new roundabout at Newtown Bypass - Approaching from the north east, exiting A483
https://www.google.com/maps/@52.5119364,-3.2940519,19.17z
I approach this one in the right lane as the routeboard shows my exit is at 1 o'clock. But when on the roundabout, this one feels more like it's at 12 o'clock.

nt.jpg
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I'd be curious as to if there's a general approach folks like to use with these sorts of roundabouts. While I've adopted an approach of making sure I'm never alongside other drivers on roundabouts (where possible), I'm still a bit indecisive as to whether I'm taking the correct lane on these two.

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akirk
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Re: Roundabouts, routeboards and lane choice

Postby akirk » Wed Apr 19, 2023 8:04 am

Welcome to the forum!

There isn't always a right or wrong regarding roundabouts - the Highway Code is interesting as it says:
https://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/roundabouts.html
"watch out for all other road users already on the roundabout; be aware they may not be signalling correctly or at all"
"In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to... ...traffic crossing in front of you on the roundabout, especially vehicles intending to leave by the next exit / traffic which may be straddling lanes or positioned incorrectly"

i.e. it is one of the few places in the Highway Code which acknowledges that it is not simple and drivers might not be signalling / positioning correctly - so that should be seen with a big red warning flag - roundabouts are chaotic and uncertain...

So the default position has to be one of caution / awareness / not making assumptions.
Don't assume that any one lane is the 'correct' lane - legally, unless marked otherwise, you can enter in any lane and exit from anywhere and technically even circle for as long as you wish - take markings as guidance but don't assume that others will read them the same way as you, or that they will read your moves correctly.

key therefore is to:
- read the situation on approach and make judgement calls depending not on just the roundabout, but also on how it is being used - if empty, do as you wish, if there is other traffic, what are they doing, join the pattern so that you don't confuse others
- keep space around you where ever possible - conflicts on roundabouts occur when cars are alongside and then one deviates hitting the other - give space if possible and you avoid that issue.
- be clear in your moves - if others are mis-interpreting what you are doing, then can you help them - if they think you are exiting at exit 2 and you are aiming for exit 3, perhaps a quick use of the right indicator / positioning more confidently in the middle or right of your lane, maybe being ready to use the horn if relevant, or even just adjusting your speed so when they do cut you up you don't crash... i.e. - you need to control the situation as much as possible...
- if it works better use the right hand lane - don't over-worry the technicalities, if traffic flows better by your taking a different lane, then that is probably a good thing...

but overall - you need to read the setting / read the others / drive to communicate your intentions and to not clash with theirs...
the Highway Code acknowledges that roundabouts are chaotic and not everyone will be doing the right thing - and by acknowledging that it puts the onus on you to adapt - if there is an accident and you haven't watched out and given room to those who may be signally or positioning incorrectly - technically you are in breach of the Highway Code...

Gareth
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Re: Roundabouts, routeboards and lane choice

Postby Gareth » Wed Apr 19, 2023 4:28 pm

Welcome.

Fenfen wrote:I'd be curious as to if there's a general approach folks like to use with these sorts of roundabouts.

Agree with the aim of never being alongside or, at least, minimising time in overlap. I remember StressedDave was very particular about that.

Beyond that and unless there is explicit information to the contrary, direction signs often include a clue in that the thicker exit lines are for major exits and, often, entry lanes map directly to major exits. For example, use the second lane entering to take the second major exit, and so on.

Added: for the one in Shrewsbury, I'd use lane 1 to take the A49, but while doing so being very careful to keep only a single lane's width to my right. Often, I find, other road users are more likely to be misled if the driver following the outside lane tries to keep to the very outside of the roundabout!

Added: for the one outside Newtown, I'd use either and try to arrange that nothing is alongside on entering. If there is something alongside, I'd probably aim to drop behind it on the exit, given the low speed limit should allow plenty of time for drivers to avoid tripping over each other. Clear signalling and a certain amount of creative assertiveness might be useful.
there is only the road, nothing but the road ...

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Horse
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Re: Roundabouts, routeboards and lane choice

Postby Horse » Wed Apr 19, 2023 7:44 pm

Gareth wrote:Welcome.

Fenfen wrote:I'd be curious as to if there's a general approach folks like to use with these sorts of roundabouts.

Agree with the aim of never being alongside or, at least, minimising time in overlap. I remember StressedDave was very particular about that.


The 'diagonal rule'. Works well in other situations, like on multi-lane roads.

One place where being alongside another vehicle is emerging at junctions, using the other vehicle as a 'shield'.
Your 'standard' is how you drive alone, not how you drive during a test.

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Horse
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Re: Roundabouts, routeboards and lane choice

Postby Horse » Wed Apr 19, 2023 7:48 pm

And all Google finds is

viewtopic.php?t=181&start=50

:D
Your 'standard' is how you drive alone, not how you drive during a test.

Another Bill
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Re: Roundabouts, routeboards and lane choice

Postby Another Bill » Sat Apr 22, 2023 10:15 pm

Edit: Comment removed, as was probably misleading.


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