Britain's First 'Dutch-Style' Roundabout Closed 10 Days After Opening When Car Ploughed Into Beacon
Just as people were getting the hang of travelling through the UK's first Dutch-style roundabout a car ploughed into a beacon, causing it to temporarily close for three nights just ten days after opening.
According to the Telegraph, work was still underway when the accident took place on the £2.3 million ($3m) roundabout in Cambridge which gives cyclists the right of way.
It opened on 31 July and closed for repairs this Monday (10 August) after a driver struck a Belisha beacon the evening before the roundabout officially opened.
Contractors will assess the damage and carry out any repairs by Wednesday (12 August), with the roundabout expected to fully reopen the following day. It will close from 8pm to 6am over the three nights.
A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire County Council told the BBC the driver failed to stop at the scene, adding: "There have been no accidents at the new roundabout since it opened on July 31."
According to the Telegraph, Sam Davies, 51, chairman of the neighbourhood group Queen Edith's Community Forum, has previously raised safety concerns about the new roundabout.
But Ms Davies, who described the roundabout as an 'unknown territory', said this closure was unrelated to its design but instead was down to sheer 'bad luck'.
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She told the publication: "The night before it was due to open, they were ready to cut the ribbon, a motorist drove into one of the Belisha beacons and it was okay to go ahead with the opening but they now need to do some investigations and make sure the thing is actually structurally sound.
"It is interesting because a lot of the questions have been around driver behaviour and it is a bit of bad driver behaviour which has instigated the need for this second closure."
There are concerns around whether drivers will realise, in enough time, that cyclists have the right of way on the unique roundabout.
Unlike standard roundabouts, this one has an additional outer ring for cyclists which crosses each approach road. There are also zebra crossings on each approach road and motorists must give way to both cyclists and pedestrians when joining and leaving the roundabout.
Ian Bates, chairman of the Highways and Transport Committee, said when the roundabout opened: "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."
Featured Image Credit: PA