Tell us your stories about Magic Roundabout in Swindon

Swindon Advertiser: Tell us your stories about Magic Roundabout in Swindon Tell us your stories about Magic Roundabout in Swindon

THIS month marks the 40th birthday of the most iconic road junction in Swindon.

The Magic Roundabout is often referred to as Swindon’s best known landmark, putting fear into any visitor to the town or youngster learning to drive.

The junction was designed by Norman Pritchard in 1972, when he was approached by the Road Research Laboratory and together they designed what has possibly become the world’s most talked about roundabout.

Since its arrival it has been voted as the seventh worst junction in Britain, listed in the 50 most confusing things in the country, and has been the focus of memorabilia including post cards and tea-towels.

Despite its reputation, the junction has proved to be a huge success with very few accidents, and even attracted the likes of Disney Land to be twinned with the town.

Mayor of Swindon Mick Bray said: “The key to it is always look to your right and you can’t go wrong. I have stood many times on the corner by the fire station and it works.”

We are looking for your stories about the Magic Roundabout for a special feature to mark the anniversary.

If you have any interesting stories contact the newsdesk on 01793 501806 or email newsdesk@ swindonadvertiser.co.uk

Comments (20)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:44am Wed 3 Oct 12

gina948 says...

As a new resident to Swindon the roundabout was a psycological dread and although it so say works, the near misses I've experienced and the amount of times I've been cut up on it are uncountable! Its badly marked out for a start, in wet weather you cant see any road markings as they've faded and its terribly lit at night time and in heavy traffic it only works because everyones sat bumper to bumper trying to get through it in one piece! Its often referred to as a complete joke! One taxi driver I met told me he'd driven all over the world and Swindon was the worst! Says it all really....!
As a new resident to Swindon the roundabout was a psycological dread and although it so say works, the near misses I've experienced and the amount of times I've been cut up on it are uncountable! Its badly marked out for a start, in wet weather you cant see any road markings as they've faded and its terribly lit at night time and in heavy traffic it only works because everyones sat bumper to bumper trying to get through it in one piece! Its often referred to as a complete joke! One taxi driver I met told me he'd driven all over the world and Swindon was the worst! Says it all really....! gina948

11:53am Wed 3 Oct 12

Glass half full says...

I think it works a treat, you've got so many different permutations available if you want to get to any of the routes off the roundabout.
Unfortunately you cannot account for bad drivers who will cut you up or take the wrong lane, but this could happen anywhere in any situation, not just on the magic roundabout.
Used correctly the magic roundabout can keep the traffic flow moving freely.
I think it works a treat, you've got so many different permutations available if you want to get to any of the routes off the roundabout. Unfortunately you cannot account for bad drivers who will cut you up or take the wrong lane, but this could happen anywhere in any situation, not just on the magic roundabout. Used correctly the magic roundabout can keep the traffic flow moving freely. Glass half full

12:41pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Even Angrier Monkey says...

My story:
.
I approached the magic roundabout from Queens drive. I turned into county road.
.
The end
My story: . I approached the magic roundabout from Queens drive. I turned into county road. . The end Even Angrier Monkey

1:10pm Wed 3 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

It's just not the same since Zebedee left
It's just not the same since Zebedee left 1 2 Could B

1:22pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Stovepipe says...

I remember one day, right, like, I was like driving and then all of a sudden, yeah, oh! you'll love this one, I was driving yeah, and then out of nowhere a car was next to Me and turned left and I turned right and then unbelievably we both met in the same place at the same time on the other side of the Magic, that's just incredible, I think we went through a worm hole or something, Jesus Christ grow up!!!!
I remember one day, right, like, I was like driving and then all of a sudden, yeah, oh! you'll love this one, I was driving yeah, and then out of nowhere a car was next to Me and turned left and I turned right and then unbelievably we both met in the same place at the same time on the other side of the Magic, that's just incredible, I think we went through a worm hole or something, Jesus Christ grow up!!!! Stovepipe

1:26pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Oak_Parent says...

Eh? Stories of the magic roundabout?

‘I’ll never forget the day I went bouncing off the bonnet of a red ford fiesta back in ‘96....’

‘I once turned right at the first roundabout, left at the second, stalled my mini and got told to **** *** by various taxi drivers. Hilarious’

Also, has the mayor really stood on the corner by the fire station, marvelling at the amount of car drivers who do in fact look right on the magic roundabout, as they would do on any other roundabout or is he having a breakdown?
Eh? Stories of the magic roundabout? ‘I’ll never forget the day I went bouncing off the bonnet of a red ford fiesta back in ‘96....’ ‘I once turned right at the first roundabout, left at the second, stalled my mini and got told to **** *** by various taxi drivers. Hilarious’ Also, has the mayor really stood on the corner by the fire station, marvelling at the amount of car drivers who do in fact look right on the magic roundabout, as they would do on any other roundabout or is he having a breakdown? Oak_Parent

1:41pm Wed 3 Oct 12

timt1964 says...

"next week,your tales of waiting at red traffic lights".come on adver,this is not news and if anyone has a "story" to tell about this roundabout now is there chance to share their magical experience with other saddos.
"next week,your tales of waiting at red traffic lights".come on adver,this is not news and if anyone has a "story" to tell about this roundabout now is there chance to share their magical experience with other saddos. timt1964

2:02pm Wed 3 Oct 12

PJC says...

I love the Magic Roundabout. It makes perfect sense if you have any yourself.
I love the Magic Roundabout. It makes perfect sense if you have any yourself. PJC

2:09pm Wed 3 Oct 12

pongopatterson says...

I remember lying on the back seat of the car (no seat belts then) and going across the roundabout at night, just after it first opened. I would have been about 4. My Dad was cussing in the front seat about what a 'dogs bum' it all was. I looked up and saw the massive, multiple lights on a stick, I thought it was fantastic. I said to Dad, "Why is it a magic roundabout"? His reply was 'cos, it'll be a ruddy miracle if we get out of it alive'!! Everytime I cross it, it reminds me of him grumbling away in the front.....
I remember lying on the back seat of the car (no seat belts then) and going across the roundabout at night, just after it first opened. I would have been about 4. My Dad was cussing in the front seat about what a 'dogs bum' it all was. I looked up and saw the massive, multiple lights on a stick, I thought it was fantastic. I said to Dad, "Why is it a magic roundabout"? His reply was 'cos, it'll be a ruddy miracle if we get out of it alive'!! Everytime I cross it, it reminds me of him grumbling away in the front..... pongopatterson

3:20pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Inda UK says...

It was four years ago, and they only tried to put a Chistmas tree in the middle! Locals described it as a "festive farce".

Council leader, Rod Bluh, was available for comment and he did.

Oh how we laughed at him in a yo-ho-ho sort of way.
It was four years ago, and they only tried to put a Chistmas tree in the middle! Locals described it as a "festive farce". Council leader, Rod Bluh, was available for comment and he did. Oh how we laughed at him in a yo-ho-ho sort of way. Inda UK

5:21pm Wed 3 Oct 12

1 2 Could B says...

That was a poor effort of a Chrustmas tree.
How much did the lights cost?

Last time I went over the magic roundabout it was very busy and I deliberately went the wrong way round a few times, but it's ok, I was at 2000ft :-)

http://m.flickr.com/
#/photos/73970391@N0
3/7040289949/in/set-
72157628887121529/
That was a poor effort of a Chrustmas tree. How much did the lights cost? Last time I went over the magic roundabout it was very busy and I deliberately went the wrong way round a few times, but it's ok, I was at 2000ft :-) http://m.flickr.com/ #/photos/73970391@N0 3/7040289949/in/set- 72157628887121529/ 1 2 Could B

8:11pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Davethered says...

I hate the part where you come from county road into drove road , what blinking lane should you be in . Why not mark it out so everybody knows . I hate this stupid roundabout , and I used to drive buses for a living
I hate the part where you come from county road into drove road , what blinking lane should you be in . Why not mark it out so everybody knows . I hate this stupid roundabout , and I used to drive buses for a living Davethered

8:40pm Wed 3 Oct 12

Wideangle852 says...

Easy peasy to use as everyone else is just so terrified, after all it is just a roundabout . . but wait until Swindon Council start putting traffic lights on it as they love to do everywhere else . . .
Easy peasy to use as everyone else is just so terrified, after all it is just a roundabout . . but wait until Swindon Council start putting traffic lights on it as they love to do everywhere else . . . Wideangle852

7:59am Thu 4 Oct 12

semitonic says...

In keeping with the council's policy of meddling with the road systems until they become frustratingly slow and counter-intuitive, they have mysteriously left the magic roundabout largely untouched over the years.

It's about time they made it all a lot more difficult by changing the layout or introducing some unreliable technology somehow.

Currently it's dead easy to negotiate and the traffic flows really well most of the time - come on Rod Bluh, there must be something expensive you can do to change this.
In keeping with the council's policy of meddling with the road systems until they become frustratingly slow and counter-intuitive, they have mysteriously left the magic roundabout largely untouched over the years. It's about time they made it all a lot more difficult by changing the layout or introducing some unreliable technology somehow. Currently it's dead easy to negotiate and the traffic flows really well most of the time - come on Rod Bluh, there must be something expensive you can do to change this. semitonic

8:00am Thu 4 Oct 12

umpcah says...

I can understand the uncertainty of first time users but in my humble opinion this " roundabout " works well . Drive carefully and give way to traffic approaching from the right or just go all around the outside until you get to the exit you require. Where`s the problem ?
I can understand the uncertainty of first time users but in my humble opinion this " roundabout " works well . Drive carefully and give way to traffic approaching from the right or just go all around the outside until you get to the exit you require. Where`s the problem ? umpcah

12:48pm Thu 4 Oct 12

uknowwhoiam says...

Thank you posters for making me laugh out loud.
Thank you posters for making me laugh out loud. uknowwhoiam

1:36pm Thu 4 Oct 12

umpcah says...

semitonic wrote:
In keeping with the council's policy of meddling with the road systems until they become frustratingly slow and counter-intuitive, they have mysteriously left the magic roundabout largely untouched over the years.

It's about time they made it all a lot more difficult by changing the layout or introducing some unreliable technology somehow.

Currently it's dead easy to negotiate and the traffic flows really well most of the time - come on Rod Bluh, there must be something expensive you can do to change this.
Such changes have to be planned and take time. Road users must be patient !
[quote][p][bold]semitonic[/bold] wrote: In keeping with the council's policy of meddling with the road systems until they become frustratingly slow and counter-intuitive, they have mysteriously left the magic roundabout largely untouched over the years. It's about time they made it all a lot more difficult by changing the layout or introducing some unreliable technology somehow. Currently it's dead easy to negotiate and the traffic flows really well most of the time - come on Rod Bluh, there must be something expensive you can do to change this.[/p][/quote]Such changes have to be planned and take time. Road users must be patient ! umpcah

1:53pm Thu 4 Oct 12

house on the hill says...

Good to see so many still have their sense of humour. Its a roundabout for gods sake, stories of a roundabout, seriously????? and we wonder why so many seem to make jokes about Swindon.
Good to see so many still have their sense of humour. Its a roundabout for gods sake, stories of a roundabout, seriously????? and we wonder why so many seem to make jokes about Swindon. house on the hill

4:26pm Tue 9 Oct 12

Northern Red says...

Davethered wrote:
I hate the part where you come from county road into drove road , what blinking lane should you be in . Why not mark it out so everybody knows . I hate this stupid roundabout , and I used to drive buses for a living
From County Road, go right on the first roundabout, into the right of the 2 middle lanes which is arrowed straight on. From this lane, go straight across the 2nd roundabout into the right lane that is directly ahead of it which is arrowed right up Drove Road. Turn right at 3rd roundabout up Drove Road. Simples.

Personally I can't understand anyone who doesn't know how to drive across it. It's a series of individual roundabouts, and each should be treated as such. It's no different to using any other single roundabout.
It's possible misnamed as a singular Magic Roundabout - as it's not a single roundabout. It's actually a Ring Junction, but to-may-to / to-mah-to...
[quote][p][bold]Davethered[/bold] wrote: I hate the part where you come from county road into drove road , what blinking lane should you be in . Why not mark it out so everybody knows . I hate this stupid roundabout , and I used to drive buses for a living[/p][/quote]From County Road, go right on the first roundabout, into the right of the 2 middle lanes which is arrowed straight on. From this lane, go straight across the 2nd roundabout into the right lane that is directly ahead of it which is arrowed right up Drove Road. Turn right at 3rd roundabout up Drove Road. Simples. Personally I can't understand anyone who doesn't know how to drive across it. It's a series of individual roundabouts, and each should be treated as such. It's no different to using any other single roundabout. It's possible misnamed as a singular Magic Roundabout - as it's not a single roundabout. It's actually a Ring Junction, but to-may-to / to-mah-to... Northern Red

4:29pm Tue 9 Oct 12

Northern Red says...

Trivia: Does anyone actually know why it's called Magic Roundabout? It's real name is County Islands.
Trivia: Does anyone actually know why it's called Magic Roundabout? It's real name is County Islands. Northern Red

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree