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laned roundabouts - they make me never want to drive anywhere again! Wtf are the rules?

(59 Posts)
LiftWantedAroundTheWorld Sun 07-Apr-13 14:01:48

I've been driving 4 years and am (I think) a careful and considerate driver.

But laned islands make we want to weep. The ones with road markings and lines and arrows telling you where to go are fine - but the ones where its like a big free for all just terrify and confuse me.

I was taught that on a 2 lane roundabout, in the absence of anything to say otherwise, you stay in the outside lane for left and straight over and go inside lane for anything further than straight over. I am prepared to accept that I might have been taught badly as my instructor was shit, but it seems reasonable and I did do that on my test and passed, so am assuming its correct?

So today. Laned island (dual carriageway and then exits for town and industrial estates) but with no actual lanes marked. Me, wanting to go off at the third of four possible exits. So into the inside lane I go, signalling right, then signal left and move over - and then someone entering from the road before the one I want to take pulls out and almost hits the side of my car. I have to stop on the frigging island, him and his wife gesticulating and waving and shouting as though I am in the wrong? Was I?

I would have liked to have moved over to outside lane sooner tbh but a HGV pulled out and blocked the lane I wanted.

But if you go in outside lane to go right, people pull out on you as they think you are exiting before you really are. And if you go in inside lane they pull out on you because they think you should be in outside lane.

I fucking hate driving sad

Sirzy Sun 07-Apr-13 14:05:13

Try to time things so your not moving over right by where traffic is coming on. To him his lane was clear until you moved into it so I can see why he was annoyed - he shouldn't have come out unless he knew it was clear though

ShellyBoobs Sun 07-Apr-13 14:06:44

You were right. They were wrong.

Absolutely, definitely, without doubt.

Your lane theory is correct, too, unless there's signs and/or lane markings saying differently for that particular roundabout.


fuckwittery Sun 07-Apr-13 14:07:28

Did you indicate too early, easily done as its tempting to signal left to move over on the roundabout, but confuses as looks like you are coming off on an earlier exit, thus you got pulled out on?

LeeCoakley Sun 07-Apr-13 14:09:09

I feel your pain! One near where I live has 2 entry lanes and 4 exits. Common sense would say left hand lane for 1st 2 exits and right hand lane for 3rd and 4th exit. Oh no, anyone using the left hand lane for the 2nd exit gets cut up, hooted, gesticulated at confused even though there are no markings. I have written to the council about marking it out but I tend to avoid it if I can because knowing my luck if I will use the right hand lane for the 2nd exit I will get cut off by someone using it the 'correct' way!

CupOfTeaSandwiches Sun 07-Apr-13 14:09:44

Thank you, thank you for this post. grin Since I moved back to the UK I have been seriously doubting what I was taught, which was exactly the same as you!

LiftWantedAroundTheWorld Sun 07-Apr-13 14:14:08

Nope, didn't indicate too early - I waited until I was just past the exit before the one I wanted.

Thing is his lane WASN'T clear, I was half in it when he started moving towards me confused and shouldn't cars waiting to enter a roundabout always give way to traffic already on it?

LiftWantedAroundTheWorld Sun 07-Apr-13 14:16:04

So when should I move left? Is there a defiinitve answer?

meddie Sun 07-Apr-13 14:16:10

He was in the wrong. you give way to traffic coming from the right, he should have waited until you were past him.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 07-Apr-13 14:19:10

I was taught not to change lanes on a roundabout. You pick the one you want, get into it, and stick in it until it deposits you off where you want to go.

Unfortunately a lot of roundabouts are crap and badly designed and it can be very hard to see which is the correct lane! But they're meant to be marked out so that if you follow the curving white line, you'll naturally move over from right to left.

There is one near me where everyone struggles with it because it is so poorly designed. It sounds as if you maybe had that in combination with someone being aggressive. Not fun.

LiftWantedAroundTheWorld Sun 07-Apr-13 14:21:52

Hmmmmm but if you start off in the left lane, then cars (and lorries which is frankly terrifying) pull out on you as they assume you are going to turn off sooner that you are? Or, IME you can get 'swept off' down the wrong exit which has happened to me and is a right old PITA.

Plus what is the inside lane for if thats really the case?

LiftWantedAroundTheWorld Sun 07-Apr-13 14:22:44

Oh and on this one there is no white line. Its just got a huge line-less expanse of tarmac with cars driving all over it [scared]

LiftWantedAroundTheWorld Sun 07-Apr-13 14:24:48

See I'm looking at this diagram but if I do what the green car is doing, cars from the previous exit pull out in front thus blocking my exit!

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 07-Apr-13 14:28:25

Sorry, was that a reply to me lift? confused Not sure - just can't see who else it'd be a reply to.

I didn't say you stay in the left lane.

It sounds like a really poorly-designed roundabout. And he was aggressive as fuck.

LiftWantedAroundTheWorld Sun 07-Apr-13 14:31:13

Oh yes LRD it was, sorry, I might have misunderstood you!

It was a response to you saying not to change lanes on a roundabout.

But I don't see what else you can do if you are in the inside lane and need to exit onto a one lane road? Its ok doing that if you are exiting onto a dual carriageway but I wasn't, it was just a country lane I was going onto.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 07-Apr-13 14:36:11

Yes, I got taught not to change lanes.

You pick the correct lane, and you follow the markings which sort of spiral, so that the inside lane becomes the outside lane about halfway round. It's got nothing to do with always choosing the left lane - if you did that you would end up changing lanes to go straight on or right.

Obviously, choosing a lane and sticking to the markings this only works when there are markings and they are properly designed - but you mentioned what you were taught so I was just explaining what I was taught. That's why I am inclined to blame the roundabout design rather than you!

Frankly I think that both the HGV driver and the other guy were being pushy. There's a roundabout near me where someone had a nasty smash with a mate of mine a while back, and his (hopping mad, too) excuse was 'well I expected you to turn off, loads of people signal right while they're turning off!' hmm Conclusion: some drivers are idiots. Don't let them get to you.

Fairylea Sun 07-Apr-13 14:39:33

You are right.

Unfortunately some of the very large roundabouts near dual carriageways do mean you have to go over other lanes to exit if you are turning right. It's all very confusing and I know exactly what you mean.

I get very annoyed that so few people seem to see the need to indicate at a roundabout at all. It drives me up the wall.

EuroShaggleton Sun 07-Apr-13 14:42:31

I've been driving for almost 20 years and multilane roundabouts are the only thing that I give a second thought to. I live in London and there are some shockers near me. The one I find hilarious is the one coming from the M25 on the to A2 into London, just after the Dartford Crossing. It has lane markings so is not the blank expanse of tarmac kind, but the markings kind of make it worse.

When you are at the traffic lights waiting to join the roundabout, the markings show right hand lane for A2 London. Fine. Traffic lights change and everyone (3 or 4 lanes) zoom forwards. At the next set of traffic lights (on the roundabout) the lane markings still show A2 London in the far right lane. The lights change -everyone zooms forward a 100 yds or so to the next set (still on the roundabout). Only at this set, the markings to A2 London are.... on the far left lane. I'd love to meet the genius that thought that one up... How do they think people are going to manage to work their way across a couple of lanes of nose to tail traffic on one of the busiest junctions in the country in a 100 yds or so?

BigGreenFrog Sun 07-Apr-13 14:43:09

You were absolutely in the right. Some roundabouts are just a pain, and some drivers are inconsiderate aggressive idiots! Not much you can do about that tho, just not let it get to you or put you off! brew

WhatDoesTheDogSay Sun 07-Apr-13 14:43:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EuroShaggleton Sun 07-Apr-13 14:43:40

LRD I don't think I have ever seen lane markings that spiral the way you describe.

cumfy Sun 07-Apr-13 14:43:46

pulls out and almost hits the side of my car. I have to stop on the frigging island

So you stopped directly in front of them ?

If someone idiotically pulls out on you, you need to brake, but generally not stop.
If someone idiotically comes too close to your side, carry on.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 07-Apr-13 14:48:26

Maybe I'm not describing them very well, then.

I mean the way that you can follow the white line, and as long as you get into the correct lane and keep that white line at your left side, you will end up coming neatly off at the right exit.

I am aware that there are plenty of roundabouts that don't have line markings (like in the OP), but it's easiest to learn on ones that do.

Where there aren't markings people should be expecting to look at indicators (they should be anyway, really)! And someone pulling out so sharply that someone else on the roundabout has to stop, has got to be in the wrong, IMO.

cumfy Sun 07-Apr-13 14:51:41

The way you have described roundabouts would confuse me if I didn't know what they were.grin

Roundabouts are roundabouts are roundabouts.

There are not 17 different varieties with different rules.

Laned, "unlaned" confused, marked, unmarked, islands, non-islands, populatated with HGVs or not they are all the same.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 07-Apr-13 14:54:00

Erm ... come on, she did just say she's having a moan about ones where there aren't road markings.

Surely we all find lack of road markings a bit irritating? That's why they put signs up to warn you when they're being painted over.

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