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Magic Roundabout gets global rating
THE Magic Roundabout may divide opinion, but it is about to receive global recognition after being featured in the top 12 roundabouts in the world.
After coming fifth in the top 10 British roundabouts, as compiled by the National Roundabout Appreciation Society, the often dreaded junction will appear in a calendar in the Sunday Times this weekend.
Those which beat off competition from the Swindon landmark include the Otford roundabout in Kent, which is one of only a handful in the country to have listed status, and features a duck pond in the centre.
Kevin Beresford, president of the Roundabout Appreciation Society, has travelled extensively to select some of the best and brightest designs, and said while those with a quirky nature will often draw attention, the Magic Roundabout was impressive due to its design alone.
“It is not aesthetically pleasing or beautiful, but it is an adrenaline rush,” he said. “As you approach it everything is going on at once. The thing is a marvellous piece of engineering.
“It is like a rollercoaster ride. It is a real maelstrom of motoring. I think people should embrace it for what it is: a wonderful engineering project.”
Kevin’s love of the Magic Roundabout led to its inclusion in the 2014 global calendar, while he relied on contributions from around the world to compile the rest of the list.
“We have done a best of British roundabouts, but this year we wanted to do our most ambitious project and put together the 12 best roundabouts of the world,” he said.
“I have travelled all around the world and asked other enthusiasts to recommend their favourites. We wanted to put an English roundabout in there, and that is going to be the Magic Roundabout in Swindon.
“We will be featuring the world’s very first roundabout in New York City, and not a lot of people know the Americans invented the concept in 1903 with the Columbus Circle.
“We have also got the Basin roundabout in New Zealand, where they house the national cricket ground.”
“We started in 2003, and wanted a calendar that was unique, so we focused on roundabouts. It went all around the world. We then went on to do the Best of British roundabouts and this is the next step.
“The Americans are trying to introduce more roundabouts in the country, because it is safer and greener, but if they take one look at the Magic Roundabout they might think again.”
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