Dual Carriageway Roundabout
I often use a roundabout with three exits including the one I'm on, all of which are dual carriageway. One of the other two exits is straight ahead and the other is 90 degrees to the right. I usually need to go straight ahead in the right hand lane so that I can turn right at the next roundabout which isn't far away. Is it OK to exit and enter in the right hand lane?
Welcome to the site dasypygal, you have opened a right can of worms there with that post
If you have a look through the forums you will see that this subject has been well hammered out
Ref the Highway Code:
Rule 185 This shows a pictorial sketch of using a roundabout.
Rule 186 For going straight ahead, this tells you to stay in the left-hand lane. Obviously, if that lane is arrowed as l/h turn only, you would use the next lane to the right.
However, a friend of ours once had an altercation with another driver on the notorious Chiverton Cross roundabout (A30 - Cornwall) and, during a later conversation with a police driver, he was advised that, subject to no road signs/markings to the contrary, it is permissible to go straight ahead from either lane, providing you remain in the same lane throughout negotiating and leaving the roundabout.
But, if the straight-ahead exit is only one lane immediately off the roundabout, then certainly stay in the l/h lane for safety as a following l/h lane driver might assume you are turning right.
For myself, unless there is good reason not to, I stay in the l/h lane for going straight ahead.
Aye! I always get an uncomfortable when I have a car to my right on a roundabout, as you know that the car could suddenly cut right across your bow to turn off?
I would think of it this way – If I followed a vehicle into a roundabout in the RH lane my first provisional thought would be, it is probably going right, your actions in traffic and of course roundabouts should be such that others around you can understand what you are intending to do. Signals on their own do not count as, particularly on a roundabout, they have little or no value on their own. E.g., in this case what does no signal mean? You may have forgotten to signal and are actually going right or could be going straight ahead, who knows?
I think if I was trying to deal with your problem, I would separate out the various stages and enter the roundabout to go straight ahead, exit into the LHL then finally look to get into the RHL. Making it much simpler, therefore safer, for others on the roundabout to understand what I am doing. As to which lane – if the roundabout is empty (rare) and no approaching traffic then I would do what is most convenient, with the roundabout occupied, I would take the first available safe space, to get on, working my way over to left to get off, taking due care to observe and account for all the relevant vehicles around me. Should I arrive at my exit but in the wrong lane for a safe exit, just continue around for another go.
Ha,ha! been there; done it!
Originally Posted by wagolynn
Usually when on a strange roundabout; the one's that are fairly large, with multi-lanes and loads of directional arrows. The problem arises if it is during a period of congestion, the traffic ahead concealing the markings until it is too late to act on them safely.
Two things that I like better in France. - (1) no marked lanes and, if in doubt, stay in the nearside (right) lane with your indicator signalling left, then signal right immediately you have passed the last of the exits you don't want. (2) French roundabouts are limited to 50kph (about 31 mph).
The French appear to be thinking about road safety...
Oh dear, I went to try to answer the phone and posted the above by mistake, I think it was someone selling something.
What I was going to add was; the lack of markings is the key to safety, as you point out the markings are useless when the roundabout is busy. The other aspect of markings is, drivers tend to stop thinking when markings are there or perhaps they concentrate too much on the markings and not enough on what is going on around them. How many roundabout type posts do we see along the lines, I was in this or that marked lane, suggesting, I had the right of way, therefore everyone else will get out of my way.
There you are then, wagolynn, we do agree sometimes.
Seriously though, when we returned after seven weeks in France last year, we were amazed by how the fast and furious British drivers seemed to behave, compared to their French counterparts.
Granted, the roads in France are better (except in towns, where they can often be very rough), and generally a little less crowded, although,for myself, that difference suggests we should act a bit more sedately in the UK.
Ah but Snowball, with all our road markings, our drivers have right of way, so we can go faster.