The Department for Transport has unveiled plans to tackle misuse of mini roundabouts across the UK.
Roads Minister, Mike Penning, today launched a consultation into proposed changes that will see small circular roundabouts converted to square ones or ‘squareabouts’. The Minister also confirmed that from tomorrow the Highways Agency will start a six-month trial of the new scheme in Swindon, the ‘home’ of the mini roundabout.
The Government is making it clear that stopping the misuse of mini roundabouts is an absolute priority. Mike Penning said, “We put these nice white circles down and people just drive all over them leaving ugly tyre tracks all over the place. There are reports of people just driving straight across them without any attempt at manoeuvring or consideration for other road users.”
The mini squareabouts will ensure that drivers have to negotiate road junctions in what the DfT likens to a ‘square dance routine.’ Drivers will enter the squareabout in sequence with "sets-in-order" around the square formation to encourage more politeness.
“We selected Swindon, not just because it has so many mini roundabouts but because it is the UK’s capital of Square Dancing with thousands of aficionados engaged in the pastime, “ said the Minister, “ We will be adapting it slightly north of the border to fit in with Scottish Country dancing style where drivers are more used to reels and jigs.”
Plans for Ireland are currently on hold as the popular Riverdance routine will need to be adapted to avoid congestion and long tailbacks.
Joe Patterson, a local road haulage contractor said, “I’m basically for it if it stops people abusing cross roads and junctions. I’d have a problem though if I had to do a ‘set’ with a male driver though. I think that would cause some issues here in Swindon.”