UK’s First 'Dutch-Style' Roundabout Forced to Close After Hit-And-Run Crash

The U.K.'s new 'cyclists-first' roundabout closed after a motorist crashed the night before opening.
Brad Bergan

A roundabout on Fendon road in Cambridge, U.K. closed temporarily after a hit-and-run driver crashed into a Belisha beacon, according to a statement from the Cambridgeshire County Council, reports a local news source.


UK's first 'dutch-style' roundabout closes after hit-and-run crash

The instigating car was damaged in the collision, and failed to stop at the scene, reports Forbes. Additionally, "[t]he design of the roundabout played no part in the accident," read the statement.

The roundabout — which cost $3 million (£2.3 million) — prioritized cyclists and pedestrians over drivers, but was forced to close for three nights following the incident — which happened the day before the roundabout's opening ceremony.

Concerns have raised regarding the lack of familiarity amid local motorists with how Dutch-style roundabouts work. But Cambridgeshire Council insists the design of the roundabout is not to blame in this case.

Hit-and-run driver collides with beacon

The wayward driver hit a Belisha beacon nearby one of the new roundabout's zebra crossing pathways and was closed for three nights to effect repairs.

The roundabout itself was designed to create more space for cyclists and pedestrians when entering and exiting the roundabout. It also has zebra-like crossing paths to give pedestrians space to walk safely.

The civil engineering feature originally estimated to cost roughly $1,050,000 (£800,000) was nearly tripled due to additional utility work amid coronavirus-adjacent complications.

Sustainable cities versus social spontaneity

"This accident happened 12 days ago, before the roundabout opened and when it was still operating under temporary traffic lights," said a statement from the Cambridgeshire County Council, reports the local news source. "The driver failed to stop at the scene."

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However, some suspect local populations used to four-way stops may have difficulty adapting to roundabouts.

As cities accelerate their rebirth through new ostensibly-sustainable civil engineering projects, we should expect more slip-ups from both local populations and the engineering behind major changes. No matter how great engineering projects look on paper, the social reality will always surprise rigid expectations of smooth and predictable order.

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