Scottish transport chiefs to visit Netherlands to study Dutch roundabouts

Announcement come shortly after Transport for London introduce plans to test design

by Sarah Barth   May 5, 2013  

Dutch Style Roundabout (picture TfL)

A delegation of Scottish transport chiefs are to visit the Netherlands to find out how Dutch roundabouts make roads safer for cyclists.

Dutch roundabouts feature segregated cycle lanes around the outside, making them much more cycle-friendly, particularly important as two-thirds of bike collisions happen at junctions.

Last week Transport 
for London announced it was investing £2 million in a project to introduce Dutch roundabouts in the city.

Keith Brown, Scotland’s transport minister who is among those travelling to Amsterdam, told the Scotsman that rather than try to come up with their own innovations, they would borrow successful design from around the world.

“We have an ambitious vision to promote cycling but there is no need to re-invent the wheel and I am keen that we learn from the experiences of our neighbours”, he told Scotland on Sunday.

“I am very much looking forward to finding out about the different approaches taken in the Netherlands regarding cycling infrastructure and other softer measures.

“It will also be interesting to see how the Transport for London research into junction and roundabout layouts develops.

“I am supportive of any improvements that Scottish planning authorities and local roads authorities can implement to make our roads a safer place to cycle.”

Ian Aitken, chief executive of Cycling Scotland, the national bike promotion body, said: “The Dutch-style roundabouts that are now being 
implemented in London would be very welcome in Scotland because they make conditions safer for cyclists at junctions, which is where 68 per cent of all accidents involving cyclists occur,” he said.

“These roundabouts not only give cyclists priority at a junction, they are also more effective at encouraging motorists to slow down, as they only have a single lane for entry and exit.”

 

14 user comments

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sounds great - but fat chance of them doing that to all the poxy white paint dots up here in polo mint city

posted by mad_scot_rider [492 posts]
5th May 2013 - 20:40

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It's surely only safer if drivers respect the bike lane segment of the entrance and exit. I can invision cyclists getting taken out or thd bike lanes being blocked due to cars not yileding. I'd be sceptical they'd work in the Uk where bikes are far less common. Just look how often drivers creep accross bike lanes when exiting junctions.

I'd also be worried that the lane painting would give priority to the cars so meaning you'd be stop start at every entrance of the roundabout a la the Chris boardman rubbish cycling infrastructure video

posted by miffed [160 posts]
6th May 2013 - 2:21

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And i wonder how much this is going to cost sending a "delegation" to Holland ?

What with their expenses etc etc. Nice little jolly for them.

Stumpy

posted by stumps [2066 posts]
6th May 2013 - 8:34

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Why do you need to visit Amsterdam to see it's roundabouts, a quick go at Google maps shoild do it surely?

posted by GREGJONES [40 posts]
6th May 2013 - 8:38

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You will never have a 100% safe bike environment, unless you will not allow idiot people to drive their car anymore. Also in Holland a lot of car drivers are not that friendly to bikers.

posted by hennyjvr [1 posts]
6th May 2013 - 11:53

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Lighten up Stumpy, its only about £185 for a day return.

posted by offshore_dave [21 posts]
6th May 2013 - 15:38

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Aye, but were talking about a clutch of our MSP's plus government officials. Somehow I can't see them jumping across on an Easyjet flight. It will be business class and a fancy hotel. The current government wants to see something like 10% of commutes to be made by bicycle yet only allocates a measly 1% towards making this happen. There seems to be an attitude of "if they come we will build it" rather than "if you build it they will come". Despite the SNP's pontificating there appears to be no substance. I may be cynical but I fully expect this group to return and say that these roundabouts are not viable for Scotland. Hopefully I will be wrong.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [846 posts]
6th May 2013 - 16:55

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We can't really moan that there is no good quality cycling infrastructure design and then moan again when the road minister goes to check out what good quality cycling infrastructure design looks like.
We know that junctions and roundabouts are the most common areas where cyclists are hit - improving the design of these seems like a good target to me.

Sure it would be nice to see Keith Brown take the Strava KOM for the Cauberg as well while he is out there but I'd settle with safer roundabouts and junctions at the mo.

posted by paulmcmillan [44 posts]
6th May 2013 - 22:42

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I'm glad that they are going to the Netherlands to see the cycling infrastructure over there, it really is different seeing it in person and cycling around it than just looking at it on Googlemaps. I'm not glad that we're paying for it though.

Let's see if it makes a difference and in a few years we'll see all these lovely dutch cycle lanes around Scotland. Or will it be the same old s**t the growing cycling population have to put up with.

Also, if you do one thing to help cycling in this country, please sign this petition if you haven't already...

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49196

Cheers

The glass is 50% capacity.

posted by mrfree [10 posts]
6th May 2013 - 22:46

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I think the answer has to be British. I don't see this as the way forward. You would have to change the whole psychology of British driving. Though, if they perhaps enshrined tougher sentencing on accidents involving cyclists, this may help do that.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [847 posts]
6th May 2013 - 23:03

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Colin Peyresourde wrote:
I think the answer has to be British. I don't see this as the way forward. You would have to change the whole psychology of British driving. Though, if they perhaps enshrined tougher sentencing on accidents involving cyclists, this may help do that.

You would indeed have to change the psychology of British driving. And speaking as a British driver (as well a cyclist), I say that would be a very good thing. As would changing the psychology of British transport planning.

And as for the trip to NL, you really need to use Dutch infrastructure to understand how it works because looking at pictures won't really inform you about the degree of joined-up thinking. In other words, to experience the psychology of Dutch transport planning, which is that bikes are at least as important as cars rather than an afterthought to have second rate paint markings applied for afterwards.

We won't have a system as good as the Dutch unless we change. That's a reason to change, not to give up.

Pete Clinch
often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

posted by pjclinch [44 posts]
7th May 2013 - 11:32

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Unfortunately that infrastructure was given a necessary shake as a result of the second world war. Perhaps there is too much emphasis on that event. But to integrate something similar in London would be very very expensive.

I agree that the idea where bike and cars have equal importance would definitely create an environment of respect. The problem is the high level of traffic in the UK. In a cityscape where cars crawl through town competing for that bit of space to get through traffic lights and traffic, people are thinking about bikes and to some extent, the bike that pops into your space, slows you down, prevents you getting through the lights, or circumvents the conventions of the road are an extreme annoyance. I cannot see popping in a few roundabouts will work.

Major upheaval is required on this and a joined up national approach to make this effective. This needs to come from central government.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [847 posts]
7th May 2013 - 12:44

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I'd love to see a video of one of these roundabouts in action with high levels of trafic as we see in our cities. I looks to me like if a significant number of cyclists were on the roundabout the motor trafic would grind to a complete halt with vehicles stuck in the middle of the roundabout. Maybe not such a bad thing but likely to be unacceptable to the powers that be.

As pointed out already we need to see it in action to make a proper judgement.

posted by Matt eaton [144 posts]
8th May 2013 - 14:33

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I found a video.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22350776

Both drivers and cyclists seem to be fairly timid in their approach and it doesn't really show how such junctions handle greater volumes of trafic.

Here's a better example. Still not uber busy but drivers and cyclists are traveling at more realistic speeds. It looks rather scary to me but seems to work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEXD0guLQY0

posted by Matt eaton [144 posts]
8th May 2013 - 14:46

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