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What would you do at this busy junction

EricaREricaR Posts: 26
edited January 2009 in Commuting chat
This is part of my commute back home from work:

I head north over the round about and back onto the road that goes straight into another, smaller roundabout which i then go over.

My question is:

On the road heading into the smaller roundabout there are two lanes - left only / ahead only.

Usually I go through the roundabout like a car (otherwise they think you are about to turn left early and can cut you up), going into the left lane as soon it is safe. When I indicate left to show I am going into the road with the "left/ahead" lanes cars think I am sticking to the left and I get cut up again.

I don't like getting off at the roundabout because there's loads of charvers [or "chavs"] that hang around there and sometimes they cause bother :? . I want to go through that part as quick as possible!

What would you do?


  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,179
    without actually riding it in traffic i cant give an opinion as i dont want to give bad advice and cause danger to yourself.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    I have a couple of these on my commute. For the first roundabout.. correction: for MY roundabout I take the middle of the left lane to disuade drivers from coming around me to turn left and head on to the dual carriageway.

    Do you think its practical for you to keep the lane the whole way around the big roundabout? If you do, it puts you in control of the left only lane at the next one and more often than not you will be able to blend in to the straight on lane. When you can't you won't have to cut across traffic to make it to the right of the left only lane and, IMO, if you go straight on in that position, you will be okay.

    It does depend on the traffic and your riding speed/confidence though.
  • JGSJGS Posts: 180
    I assume you are heading up Station Road and crossing Coast Road? If so why not take a left along Devonshire Gardens, use the pedestrian (and I assume cycle) tunnel under the road and then follow Elmfield Gardens back towards Station Road? It would add a tiny bit of distance to your commute, but would keep you away from the more busy looking roads?

    You could also try taking a left and then turn into Strawberry Gardens, follow it to the top and then rejoin Station Road? Thus mitigating any of the issues and only adding a few seconds to your commute?

    Otherwise it looks like you are going to get cut-up quite a bit, even if you try to stay in the same position that you would in a car, you're sure to get some dumbass try to jostle you and unfortunately you'll only come off worse.

    That roundabout really should be divided into lanes, as it stands it looks like a free for all and it's probably some council / odd legal way of avoiding blame for accidents or just laziness from your local transport office.
  • _Brun__Brun_ Posts: 1,740
    It's a tricky one, I can understand your quandry.

    I'd go round the roundabout in the left-hand lane, but making sure I was far enough out to be in primary and avoid cars passing me when they shouldn't.

    Coming up to the mini roundabout I'd attempt to get into the right lane, but if that's not possible get into a position where I can filter straight through it. Important thing is not to be in a position where cars will try and turn left across you.

    Edit: I think I'm suggesting pretty much what AT said. Likewise, that's how I personally would approach it but a lot depends on your own confidence and ability.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    The only difference between our two suggestions is that yours is comprehensible. :oops:
  • I'll go with _Brun_ on this one.

    I would have thought the bigger issue was the big roundabout. The whole section is about 150 yards, my tactic would be to get out of the saddle and blast it round about 1.5 foot in from the white line in the left lane at about 22+ mph (both sections), most drivers are not going to complain really at that speed, you're only in their face for a few seconds. But as I don't know you, your bike or the traffic at that location my comments are somewhat shakey. Just spend the next 2 minutes getting your breath back after the blast!

    The Billet roundabout over the North Circular is somewhat like this except it is 3 lanes wide and that is how I tackle it. If you are confident and don't hang about I think you're ok. Its dawdling and indecision that gets on most peoples nerves.

    Plus doing it fast reduces the onlookers issue. Hope it helps

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  • Nick6891Nick6891 Posts: 274
    i would probs go into the middle of the lane on approach to the roundabout so cars cannot get around you, i admit sometimes it can annoy some drivers, but most drivers wont mind aslong as your not too far from the roundabout and it stops them been able to overtake.

    I do it a junction i have to go over not quite the same as that but i have the same problems and cars dont normally mind waiting just make sure you close to the roundabout when you make your way into the middle of the lane, but i dont know what drivers are like where you are.
  • elliebellieb Posts: 436
    I'd agree that the key in these sort of situations is to travel at a decent speed. If you can't really gun it then you leave yourself open to drivers taking liberties. I'd stay primary in the left hand lane at the small roundabout.
  • Jon8aJon8a Posts: 235
    I live just down the road from there!

    DO you ride MTb's? And if so you should if you don't already meet up with Newcastle mountain bike club (google midaircrisis).

    I'd take it like a car in the middle of the left hand lane but it really depends on traffic, I only ever go that way later in the evening so don't know what it's like in rushour. You're issue is if someone tries to overtake you but it you go in the right hand lane then people may undertake you which is probably worse.

    At least staying left the worst that will happen (hopefully) is that you will get stuck in the left hand lane at the mini roundabout. In which case you can either muscle right or use the pavement to escape.

    I do the Chillingham/Benton/Coast Road roundabout daily and just hold the middle of my lane exactly as I would if I was in a Car. No real issues.
  • ...
    The Billet roundabout over the North Circular is somewhat like this except it is 3 lanes wide and that is how I tackle it. If you are confident and don't hang about I think you're ok. Its dawdling and indecision that gets on most peoples nerves.
    :!: The Billet is scary enough in a car never mind on a bike - which is why I take the underpass. I do go round the big roundabout at the Hackney end of Lea Bridge Road though. Kudos as ever DD

    Back on topic (sorry) I think the advice given above is sound. Treat it like a car would. Keep your eyes peeled and stay safe. Best of luck
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
  • EricaREricaR Posts: 26
    Thanks guys, I do suppose it is hard to imagine because I lot depends on what the cars are doing... and how many dickehads there are. I go through the roundabout at around 18mph but I feel a bit better about it now so I will go a bit faster next time...

    I try and avoid the tunnel but JGS you do make a good point at going through strawberry gardens, I think I'll just take pot luck from now on!

    I've ridden mtbs everywhere since i was little... I've only just started getting 'into' it though because it's more of a luxury now and I'd love to meet up with other mtb-ers. I did try going out with the gosforth road club once, really enjoyed it but it nearly killed me on an mtb lol. I have never heard of your group but will definately google them :)

    Believe it or not I used to live on the chilli road / coast road roundabout the only problems I ever had were the jams that randomly appeared. Do you live in wallsend? please don't be offended if i am over cautious about that part of wallsend!!
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