Poll: Would you use right hand lane when roundabout busy?

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Thread: What lane to use on this roundabout?

  1. #1

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    There is only 1 exit road so you should use the left lane. You can clearly see there's not enough room to merge.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middlesex
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    8,495

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    I am not familiar with the road well enough to pinpoint locations, but I have seen a couple of roundabouts in Norwich Outer Ring Road where traffic is advised to use both lanes to cross roundabout into a single lane road, with signs saying 'Merge In Turn'. Perhaps someone with local knowledge could point them out? (I cross them travelling from the A11 clockwise to Sprowston.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    81

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    To me it looks like the exit is just one lane, not one and a bit, and this makes a difference. Even if you are not familiar with the roundabout, as you approached from a single carriageway with one lane you would not expect two lanes on the exit. Personally I would use the left lane to approach the roundabout, but that's just the way I am.
    Consider it from the point of view of a driver using the left hand lane to go straight ahead. If the road is busy and someone enters the roundabout at the same time but from the right lane, the driver on the left will not know if the other is going to go straight ahead or turn right. For the driver on the right to exit safely and courteously before the driver on the left, he will have to pull ahead and indicate. Given that the roundabout is not very big, I would say that anyone attempting this risks not being able to complete the manoeuvre as intended and may either have to slow down or stop himself or cause someone on the left to do so.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    33

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    Normally if I'm going straight ahead, taking the 2nd exit of a 4-way roundabout, I'd stay in the left hand lane.

    If there are lanes marked on the roundabout too, I don't cut across to the middle to smooth out the roundabout, but I might do that if there are no markings and no vehicles beside or behind me to my right.

    However, local practices develop on certain roundabouts which seem to go against highway code advice. I can think of one roundabout where everyone took the right-hand lane to go straight ahead. Eventually lane arrows were painted on the road that confirmed the practice that had developed. On this particular roundabout the 'left' and 'straight ahead' exits are both busy main roads, whereas the proper 'right' exit is a little used minor road.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Scotland
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    11,090

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    Yea! that is true, as we have a massive roundabout here which has 4 lanes.

    Thing is, if you start off in the lane that's marked for the route you want, you have to change lanes half way through it to get to the exit

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sofa Spud View Post
    Normally if I'm going straight ahead, taking the 2nd exit of a 4-way roundabout, I'd stay in the left hand lane.

    If there are lanes marked on the roundabout too, I don't cut across to the middle to smooth out the roundabout, but I might do that if there are no markings and no vehicles beside or behind me to my right.

    However, local practices develop on certain roundabouts which seem to go against highway code advice. I can think of one roundabout where everyone took the right-hand lane to go straight ahead. Eventually lane arrows were painted on the road that confirmed the practice that had developed. On this particular roundabout the 'left' and 'straight ahead' exits are both busy main roads, whereas the proper 'right' exit is a little used minor road.
    I think Airbag's well reasoned argument above sounds like the common sense and book answer but you have hit the nail on the head with 'local practice'. A lot use the right hand lane - probably due to the much more natural line they can take and the limited use of the 3rd exit. The difference here is that the council haven't backed it with the use of arrows. Arrows in the road here would be a help (whatever tehy said) - except that so many people ignore them anyway.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    7

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    Quote Originally Posted by smudger View Post
    Yea! that is true, as we have a massive roundabout here which has 4 lanes.

    Thing is, if you start off in the lane that's marked for the route you want, you have to change lanes half way through it to get to the exit
    I'd recommend avoiding Milton Keynes M1 junction 14 area then and stay in Scotland - but that's good advice regardless of the roundabouts.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    186

    Default

    Another option could be to enter in the right lane, if there is traffic from the left lane wanting your exit, just go around the roundabout and they will all HAVE to give way to you!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    7

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    Quote Originally Posted by chopper jockey View Post
    Another option could be to enter in the right lane, if there is traffic from the left lane wanting your exit, just go around the roundabout and they will all HAVE to give way to you!
    I think I'll need to check how good my 'right hand lock' is first, but it would be quicker than waiting for the queue of 7 - especially if that silly little Renault Clio is panicking at the junction as usual.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    89

    Default

    Haven't looked at this particular junction but I can imagine the kind of thing you mean. As a general rule I am very careful to obey the rules, but I know of at least one roundabout in Wolverhampton where I have learned from bitter experience that the only safe way to turn right is to approach in the left hand lane (yes, you did read that correctly!). The problem is that if you get in the right hand lane, you can never get off and you end up going round in circles!

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