Following the publication of their Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy in 2017, the Department of Transport have recently granted funding to Cambridgeshire County Council to construct one of the UK’s first ‘Dutch’ style roundabouts. The roundabout will feature zebra crossings for pedestrians and a dedicated red cycle path around the roundabout for bicycles, commonly found in the Netherlands where cycling is large part of everyday life.
Cambridge County Council successfully applied to the Government for funding for the project, aimed to improve cycle safety in the area, as part of their 2018-19 Cycle City Ambition Safety programme.
The roundabout, although uncommon, is not the first in the UK, with Southwark Council formally opening a ‘Double Dutch’ style roundabout on Crystal Palace Parade in March of this year.
There are currently no ‘Dutch’ style roundabouts under construction in Scotland, however a Government fund to support walking and cycling has seen an increase in funding to £36 million for the current financial year, up £15 million from last year. The money awarded to The Community Links Fund is intended to improve and develop walking and cycling routes.
As the number of cyclists on our roads increase, so too does the number of cyclists killed and injured in road traffic accidents as they come in to conflict with traffic on our increasingly busy roads. With many road safety charities campaigning for safer routes, it remains to be seen whether these unique roundabouts will improve safety, or whether the unusual design will perhaps confuse drivers and cyclists unfamiliar with the layout.