While work was still underway on the roundabout and finishing touches were being made to “Dutch style” roundabout, which gives priority to cyclists, it has been closed due to a car smashing into a beacon.
The roundabout, at Fendon Road in Cambridge, became the first of it’s kind to open in the UK on July 31st at a cost of £2.3 million. It gives bicycles priority over cars, as do roundabouts in Holland due to there being more cyclists than car drivers.
Bicycle users have the outer ring of the structure, with 4 lanes marked in red to cross over the adjoining approach roads. A spokeman for Cambridgeshire county council said that the old roundabout, which stood in the same place near Addenbrookes hospital, had been seen as dangerous for cyclists to navigate.
It may be the case that the new one is much safer for cyclists but not for cars it seems as on Monday evening a car ploughed into one of the Belisha beacons and drove off without stopping.
The structure will be closed until Wednesday whilst workers assess the damage and carry out any repair work. The chairman of the neighbourhood committee, Sam Davies, 51, has gone on record as being concerned that as it is the first of it’s kind in the UK, motorist may not realise in time that they have to give way to people using bicycles.
Ms Davies admitted that it was “sheer bad luck” that has produced this closure and nothing to do with it’s design. A spokesman for the county council said that the roundabout had not been fully operational at the time of the accident and that the driver had failed to stop at the scene, even though his car would have been considerably damaged.
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