UK's first 'Dutch-style' roundabout caused more collisions than previous layout
The UK's first 'Dutch style' roundabout has had more accidents in its first three years than the predecessor it replaced.
The roundabout on Fendon Road, Cambridge, has been completed since 2020 and is meant to offer priority to cyclists and pedestrians over road users.
It features a cycle lane around the edge of the ring and large pedestrian crossings just before each entrance.
Motorists are meant to yield to both before entering and exiting the roundabout.
Read more: is popular in the Netherlands, which has a long tradition of cycling being the main mode of transport for many
The layout is popular in the Netherlands, which has a long tradition of cycling being the main mode of transport for many.
According to the BBC, there have been 10 collisions since it began operation, with three of them serious. Eight of them involved cyclists.
There were six minor accidents between 2017 and 2019 before the new roundabout was implemented.
Cambridge County Council told the BBC that cycle traffic had increased by 50% since 2017 and pedestrian use was up 30%.
Within a few days of its opening, it had to be closed after a hit-and-run driver crashed into a zebra crossing beacon.
The roundabout has been controversial ever since it was announced as the costs spiralled from its original £800,000 budget to £2.3m.
Read more: Road safety campaigners welcome UK's first roundabout which prioritises cyclists over drivers
It was met with opposition at the time with locals complaining it was not an accident hotspot and said the money could have been spent better elsewhere.
But road safety campaigners welcomed the council's ambition when it was opened.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: "Going Dutch will take on a whole new meaning in Cambridge and the council should take credit for trying to improve safety for all road users.
"For drivers, this may well be an unusual junction to navigate in the first instance, but they should remember that priority must be given to both cyclists and pedestrians as well as the usual 'give way' to vehicles approaching from the right.
"Some might have concerns about the impact on congestion but ultimately, if the scheme reduces collisions and injuries then that will be the true measure of success."
Despite the high cost and rise in accidents several other councils have expressed interest in designing their own 'Dutch style' roundabouts.
Essex county council has submitted plans for new roundabouts in Braintree and Colchester.
In July 2020, the government set out its plans in its “vision for cycling and walking” document, saying “we will create more ‘Mini-Hollands’” as part of a £2bn scheme to promote greener travel.
Alex Beckett, chairman of the county council's highways and transport committee, told the BBC: "We have received compliments on its layout and had great interest from other local authorities who are looking to install their own Dutch-style roundabouts," he said.
"We have carried out regular road safety audits and recently commissioned a study to look at the nature of the incidents which will help inform any changes we might wish to make to this roundabout or any future roundabouts with similar design characteristics."