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The Magic Roundabout Swindon

Despite being voted one of the scariest junctions in the United Kingdom and worst roundabout 2005, Swindon's Magic Roundabout is really not as bad as it sounds...honest!

Essentially a brilliant idea, The Magic Roundabout has been confusing motorists and delighting tourists ever since 1972 but if you've come in search of the scientific genius behind the design your guess is as good as ours!

Team TGtS and the rest of Swindon have been baffled ever since our first (and almost last) journeys across the "revolutionary" traffic system!

The magic roundabout is located near the County Ground, home to STFC and was formerly known as County Islands until the late 1980s when it was changed to match its popular nickname. The roundabout consists of five mini-roundabouts dotted around a sixth central anti-clockwise roundabout.

Until the roundabouts creation, the area had been an absolute nightmare to venture across especially during rush hour, regularly failing to handle the sheer volume of traffic which merged on it from five different directions.

Despite the unconventional design, the roundabout has an excellent safety record. Because the traffic moves too slowly, there’s no chance of causing any serious damage in the event of a collision.

Most accidents have ultimately involved cyclists and motorcyclists. But fear not two wheeled thrill seekers as the addition of a designated cycle route and pelican crossings, mean no matter how you travel you can still be safe.

As scary as it is, we have to admit; all these years later, and the world’s most famous roundabout is still going strong.

Here's our top 5 tips for surviving The Magic Roundabout:

  • Always think priority to the right.
  • Remember to always be aware of the speed and position of the traffic around you.
  • Watch out for vehicles already on the roundabout and be aware they may not be signalling correctly or at all!
  • Once you're on the roundabout keep up a reasonable speed.
  • Finally and most importantly stay calm and don't panic!
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