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Old 14-07-2017   #1
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Muddled road layout - who is in the right ?

There is a roundabout near me which has confusing lane discipline which is only apparent when joining the roundabout from certain approaches. I’d be interested in your comments.
Yesterday a motorcycle rider almost turned into the side of my car because he expected me to exit the roundabout at his exit, but I was continuing to the next exit. Both of us thought (and probably still believe) we were in the right.
On the image below, my route is shown in yellow, with different shades to show where I was indicating right and where I was indicating left. The motorcycle’s route is shown in red.

3-4 years ago Cardiff Council restricted the traffic flow of the roundabout, supposedly for “road casualty reduction”. (Personally I think it became more dangerous, but we have to make the best of the new layout). Some lanes were hatched out, and some dedicated turning left lanes introduced.

Referring directions to the image below:

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When approaching the roundabout from the right (from the dual carriageway) and wishing to take the fourth exit, the signage on the road and on a sign on the slip-road show that the two right-hand lanes are both to be used. Vehicles are encouraged to use both these lanes, then merge into one lane after the third exit. I followed these signs (as I do on most days) to use the middle lane of the slip road, keep to this lane on the roundabout, then merge into the only lane after passing exit 3 of the roundabout.

When approaching the roundabout from the ‘top’ and wishing to take the fourth exit towards the left, as the motorcycle probably did, there is no specific signage, so the normal route would be to take the right-hand lane, then the inside lane of the roundabout and cross the outside lane of the roundabout when exiting. This is what the motorcycle did.

When I joined the roundabout I was several car lengths ahead of the motorcycle but he caught up and moved almost level with me by the time we reached his exit. Although I had been indicating right for the whole time he could see me, he still assumed that I would turn left at his exit (on the left-hand exit lane) and he started to turn for the right-hand exit lane. He then realised that I was not turning and changed direction; he stopped; I slowed; he made it clear that he thought I was in the wrong; I did the same; we went on our way.
If he was not familiar with the signage on the slip-road at my entry to the roundabout, the motorcyclist would expect me to turn off at ‘his’ exit (although he should have taken account of my indicators and not moved alongside me), but I was following the route indicated by the signage on my entry slip-road.

Who was in the right ?
Who was at fault ?
Is the road layout the only thing at fault ?
Do the transport planners believe that multiple low speed accidents is ‘safer’ than a single higher speed accident, so a muddled layout which slows drivers down and creates uncertainty is a safer layout ?
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Old 14-07-2017   #2
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Muddled road layout - who is in the right ?

Looking at your route using the middle lane and with the arrows on the road as shown, I don't think you did anything wrong, seems the motorbike should have been more aware of the markings on the road and to be honest, as a vulnerable road user, more aware of what cars are doing and where they are going.

If driving defensively then he should have gotten across into your lane well before his exit, and to do so slotted in, behind or in front of your car.
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Last edited by AndyRKett; 14-07-2017 at 15:03.
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Old 14-07-2017   #3
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Re: Muddled road layout - who is in the right ?

I agree with Andy, your route appears as the planners intended, although the way both lanes merge immediately after exit 3 looks 'exciting'.

I would have expected the motorcycle to have moved out between your entry point and his exit. Exiting where he intended from the right lane is quite a risk.
If you were several car lengths ahead of him, he has chosen to move up and alongside you. Not a clever decision, in or on any vehicle. If he'd stayed behind you, he could have exited across behind without trauma - unless he'd caught anything following. He's a prat.
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