Eye Services roundabout

40mph, going round the roundabout again

Some drivers try their hardest to avoid the so called 'difficult' roundabouts.

Try not to let yourself slip into this trap.

If you 'think it easy' then it takes unnecessary obstacles out of the way.

This works in other fields of life.

If you break the process into simple steps then it makes it manageable.

The key thought in your mind is to 'go the wrong way safely'.

If there is a risk to hitting another road user by going the way you want to go then just go the wrong way safely.

If you are late, then as hard as it sounds you need to face up to being late and be safe.

In this example we are looking at the Eye Services roundabout but I would hope that some of the principles used in this roundabout can be used on similar 'difficult' roundabouts.

Please 'think difficult roundabouts easy' before you are near it.

The first unusual sign as you approach the roundabout is the 40 mph maximum speed limit.

To notice any unusual change in speed limit mean that we must always budget time on approach for glances and scans ahead to see any signs.

If you are coming from the Werrington/Gunthorpe end of the roundabout, travelling towards the Boongate, Perkins, Orton end of the roundabout it is best if when it is 2 lanes to be in the left lane, when it is 3 lanes to be in the left lane and then when it is 4 lanes to be in the second from left lane.

This means that you do not have to be in a lane that merges from 2 into 1, which is likely to happen on the 3rd and 4th lane.

If you are coming to an unusual roundabout try and read the lane markings early and please go the wrong way safely if you are unsure and unable to change lanes safely.

This is a clip of how to turn right onto the Frank Perkins Parkway from the Paston Parkway:

This is a reasonable distance away from the roundabout and not many people obey this speed limit, which again adds to the challenges, you can be travelling along at 40mph and cars will be passing you.

As you approach the 40 mph limit try to check your mirrors and if there are vehicles close behind brake as early as possible, the following cars will see your brake lights very early and know you are slowing down.

You are the advanced driver and you are going to make the situation safe with your driving skills.

Now you are at 40 mph you have more time to process the situation in front of you than if you were going 60 mph.

The key is to remember to let yourself go the wrong way if it is not safe to go the way you wish.

As far as the driving test is concerned you will not be marked down for going the wrong way, as long as you go the wrong way safely.

Now this is the odd part, you will not be marked down for going the wrong way even on the 'independent drive' part of the test.

Good points:

Traffic light controlled, you have time to gather your thoughts about which lane you need to be in.

Bad points:

Four lanes go into three, on the exit from the roundabout three lanes go into two.

Important things to concentrate on:

If you are going to change lanes the 'acid test' is to not cause another vehicle to slow down, stop or change direction.

If you cannot do this, go round the roundabout again or go the incorrect way.

Other people will cut you up, this is where your defensive driving can come into its own.

When someone cuts you up the key is to calmly focus on your own driving to ask yourself, "we are in a bad situation, how can my advanced driving put it right?", give plenty of room, checking mirrors if need to change speed or direction.

Be alert and be more ready to check your mirrors and your "kiss the parrot" to make sure you do not collide with any other vehicles.

Give yourself 'space and time' around yourself.

When you are on the roundabout try and see the route that you need to follow to go the way that you wish.

You will need to keep checking around you to make sure it is still safe and always hold in your mind to go the wrong way safely to avoid a collision.

This is a commentary drive from Eye to the Frank Perkins Parkway, remembering to go the wrong way safely and to give yourself space and time: