This north west “bizarre” and “dangerous” oval-shaped roundabout is driving motorists round the bend

Motorists have blasted a “bizarre” and “dangerous” oval-shaped roundabout made up of concentric circles on a busy town centre road – which looks more like a “puzzle”.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 7:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 7:54 pm

Drone pictures of the newly-opened roundabout show three rings in the middle of a junction with the same number of roads connecting from different angles.

Locals in the Isle of Man’s capital town Douglas have slammed the idea, claiming it “makes no sense” and is “impossible to work out”.

However, the IoM government say the junction should be approached like “any other roundabout” and assure that “motorists will soon get used to them”.

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Drone pictures of the newly-opened roundabout show three rings in the middle of a junction
Drone pictures of the newly-opened roundabout show three rings in the middle of a junction

Islander Craig Goffin, who took the pictures, said: “This new roundabout is completely and utterly bizarre.

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“It makes no sense to me, why not just put a regular roundabout in there? It’s just confusing for everyone.”

He added: “I’m worried that there will be accidents there because for some people it will be impossible to work out.

Locals in the Isle of Man’s capital town Douglas have slammed the idea

“They’ll pull up to it and not know what all these lines mean or where to go. It’s not the kind of roundabout anyone is familiar with.

“People seem a bit panicked about it.”

Thousands of people have taken to social media to criticise the plan after pictures emerged for the first time on Monday (June 14) when it opened.

Julie Charlton posted on Facebook: “It's bloody dangerous.

“I'm at a loss as to who thought this was a good idea, you can see the gradient from certain angles and not from others.

“This design is for pages in a 'mind puzzle' book... shocking!”

June Webster added: “My seven-year-old grandson said if they put a H in the middle it could be a helipad.”

Alan Desmond posted: “A totally logical design - if you were on mind bending drugs, that is.

“Reminds me of one of those puzzles where you have to guide the little ball bearing to the centre.

“Other than that, it looks truly atrocious.”

Craig, a 52-year-old IT service manager, also pointed out that one of the roundabout’s exits and entrances is only feet away from a zebra crossing.

It was opened yesterday so he said it’s not yet clear how much people are struggling with the concept, but added that locals are “panicked”.

Craig said: “When the weather is nice and there are lots of people crossing there will be queues going around the roundabout.

“The whole thing seems poorly thought out.”

He added: “It seems silly to say but we need some instruction on how to use this thing.”

The Isle of Man government are keen to point out the design was subject to planning approval and that images of it were shared on an official site beforehand.

In a press release, they described what they have put in place as a roundel, which is a circular disc used as a symbol.

The word is most commonly used to refer to a type of national insignia used on military aircraft, like the the red, white and blue Royal Air Force symbol.

The IoM government have attempted to reassure residents while also confirming that a second, similarly designed roundabout will be installed close by.

In a statement, they said: “The Department of Infrastructure would like to reassure motorists that the two roundels being installed... are to be driven in the same way as any other roundabout.

“Roundels are designed not to have a traditional central island or a white-domed marking due to the nature of their design.

“They also act as a form of traffic calming, with both roundels sited within the 20mph speed limit for Douglas Promenade.”

Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker added: “Roundels are part of modern highway design, having been used in the UK for a number of years.

“I feel, once the overall area is complete, motorists will soon get used to them.”

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