First “Dutch-style” roundabout for Cambridge and the UK

Camcycle (Cambridge Cycling Campaign) welcomes the first cycling and walking friendly “Dutch-style” roundabout for Cambridge and the UK.

Approved by the Economy and Environment Committee of the County Council, the Queen Edith’s Way roundabout will be a walking/cycling-priority single-lane roundabout similar to those commonly found in the Netherlands. This is a design which has only recently been made feasible in the UK following changes to rules on walking and cycling crossings, but which have been in use abroad successfully for decades.

The introduction of this roundabout is a very exciting moment for Cambridge and the UK and represents a step-change in the standard of cycling infrastructure. Camcycle has long campaigned for this level of cycling infrastructure and hopes to see all future proposals meeting this benchmark.

Chair, Robin Heydon said “Cambridge is the cycling capital of the UK and is the perfect place to showcase this type of design to the rest of the country. In a city where cycling is the main choice of transport for the majority it is well overdue to have junctions that give cyclists the priority that is required to keep them safe.

We are confident that this roundabout will be a success and will improve the experience not just for cyclists but also for people who drive. It will ensure everyone has the space they need to safely travel through the junction.

The more cycling infrastructure we provide, the more people will choose to cycle. With the nearby biomedical campus continuing to expand it is vital that we do whatever we can to reduce congestion by encouraging active travel rather than more cars”

The Economy and Environment Committee agreed that minor changes to the geometry of the roundabout should be made, to match more exactly a Dutch specification, a move which Camcycle supports.

About the design

The new roundabout design provides dedicated, segregated space for cyclists to navigate their way around the roundabout and utilises parallel walking and cycling priority crossings that have only recently been permitted in the UK. (The first of these crossings in Cambridge can be seen on Huntingdon Road). These crossings are provided on each arm, meaning that motor traffic entering or exiting the roundabout must give way to people who are walking and cycling around. Because the cycleway splits off well before each arm, the driver has a good chance to see whether anyone is cycling or walking towards the crossing. The design of the roundabout causes the driver to slow down, while turning and facing the crossing ensuring sufficient time and visibility to decide if it is safe to proceed or whether they should give way to cyclists or pedestrians. This design makes it easy for everyone to interact safely and do the right thing.

For more information on Dutch roundabout design please see our recent article.

Details of the proposed design in Cambridge can be seen within the consultation documents: