The circle of strife - pointless roundabout or a way to slow traffic?
Buy this photo » The roundabout in Cranmore Avenue described as pointless by many residents
A MINI roundabout in the middle of a busy Swindon street has been dubbed pointless by residents who cannot decide what benefits it brings.
The traffic island on Cranmore Avenue has no exits to other roads and is routinely used as an extra parking bay on the street.
Samantha Cooper, 43, of Cranmore Avenue, said: “Why they have put a roundabout there I do not know. You can’t turn around on it and so many people have to do it on the grass.
“If it was to slow people down I don’t see the point, because we have the speed bumps in the road already. Cars park on the roundabout a lot of the time, which makes it impossible to turn around. When cars come around the chicane they should slow down, but boy racers just rush straight through it. I have had to stick the brakes on because cars will just chance it.
“We know how much Swindon loves roundabouts, maybe they saw a road with a 500 yard stretch without a roundabout and thought let’s stick one down here.”
Reba Thomson, 73, of Cranmore Avenue, said: “ I have been here for 51 years but there is not a lot of difference since they installed it. It makes it very awkward and parking round here is terrible.
“The kids run across from the park and it was meant to slow drivers down to keep it safe for them.
“But there is no place to park at all. Sometimes they park on the grass verges where they should not. Parking on that roundabout is a bit dangerous.”
Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “It is crazy. Wing mirrors get knocked off when people speed round there because there is not enough room.
“They put it there to try to get people to slow down and it doesn’t work. You can’t turn around on it because there is not enough space, and most people just use the road to turn around.
“Delivery drivers park there, but it is not really a roundabout, it is just a spot in the road.”
But not everyone is critical of the quirky roundabout, and some say it has helped to stifle traffic flow through the road.
Anna Hartley-Wilson, 35, of Cranmore Avenue, said: “This road is so peaceful and quiet because of that silly little roundabout. This whole stretch is over a mile long and if you were to stand here for half an hour you would not see more than three or four cars come by.
“It is a silly roundabout, but I think it does serve a purpose because people have not got a straight run. People park there but I would rather people do that than park on the grass.
“I think it is all cumulative. Cars know there are speed bumps and roundabouts along this road and will slow down.
“That gives people time to turn and it slows them down. There are roads nearby choc full of cars, but that doesn’t happen on Cranmore Avenue.
“Because it is by a park where children play, the more calming measures the better.
“Learner drivers also use it a lot for their lessons, because it is quite a gentle, easy way to navigate a roundabout.”
Earlier this year, an alleyway at the top of Newhall Street, in the town centre, made national headlines after bungling council workers took parking restrictions to a new extreme by painting two sets of double yellow lines down the 1.4 metre wide access. The lines have since been painted over.
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