Aaarrggghhhh! Why is it that British planners seem to love their "roundabout" junctions?
I remember running into the Colchester version of this horrible arrangement some years ago. It was the first time I'd been back to the town since I was a kid, and also the first time I'd ever come across such a convoluted, confusing intersection.
Even without this unnecessarily complex layout, roundabouts (traffic circles) are used far too much here. We have big ones, small ones, and now it seems that the "mini-roundabout" is appearing everywhere. There's a small junction near here with two adjacent mini-roundabouts, and there's often confusion over which vehicle is heading where and who has right-of-way. (For those of you who don't know what I mean by "mini-roundabout", I'll try to get a picture over the weekend.)
I've never driven in Paris (from what I've heard, that's a good thing!
), but in small town and rural France I've found that the road layouts are much better than here.
The only thing about France that really had me concentrating hard was the "priorité a droite" rule. It's very disorienting for someone used to driving in the U.K. or U.S.A. to be going along a main street and have to stop for a car emerging from some small turning on the right. I'm glad that the priority on French roundabouts has been changed though!
P.S. I wonder if they named that confusing mess "The Magic Roundabout" because by the time you've found your way around it, it's "Time for bed!"
( Link for non-Brits who have no idea what I'm talking about!
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 03-15-2003).]