New roundabout built to ‘improve safety’ closes a day before official opening after crash

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The roundabout has been damaged after a motorist collided with one of the beacons next to a zebra crossing. The roundabout will be closed for three days so experts can assess the level of damage before an official opening ceremony can be conducted. 

Cambridgeshire County Council has claimed the roundabout design “played no part” in the collision after fears the scheme was too complicated. 

In a statement released yesterday, Cambridgeshire County Council said the accident happened “before the roundabout opened” with the scheme not affecting the incident. 

The statement said: “This accident happened 12 days ago, before the roundabout opened and when it was still operating under temporary traffic lights.

“A car collided with a Belisha beacon column, causing it to lean slightly. The driver failed to stop at the scene.

READ MORE: New plans will make cities ‘no go zones’ for cars 

Cyclists will use an outer red ring road which will ensure they are kept away from running alongside busy traffic. 

The design gives priority to cyclists and pedestrians with a series of zebra crossings installed along the outside of the roundabout. 

Roads have also been narrowed in and out of the junction which is aimed at reducing traffic speed. 

This will ensure drivers have more time to register pedestrians and cyclists which may be using the lanes. 

Councillor Ian Bates, Chairman of the Highways and Transport Committee said the new scheme would “improve safety” and encourage more residents to walk and cycle, 

He said the scheme had been installed after recent Government recommendations promoting these types of roundabouts across the UK. 

Cllr Bates said: “I am delighted to see the completion of improvements to this roundabout, which aim to improve safety at this busy junction and encourage more people to walk and cycle. 

“It is great to see Cambridgeshire leading the way in implementing the first truly Dutch inspired roundabout that improves safety for vulnerable users, ahead of recent nationally published Government guidance that strongly promotes this type of infrastructure.”

The schemes are popular in the Netherlands which has been a firm supporter in installing cycling infrastructure. 

The initial designs for the new roundabout were made with the help of Dutch consultancy firm Royal Haskoning and Mobycon. 

Cambridge County Council said the new roundabout follows the design standards advocated by the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research.

The new roundabout also follows new Highway Code rules which aim to improve the safety of vulnerable road users. 

A new hierarchy system will put greater responsibility onto drivers to reduce dangers for those most likely to be affected. 

The Code is also set to introduce stronger priorities for pedestrians at junctions to clarify where they have right of way.



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