Makes Perfect Sense

Makes Perfect Sense

Submitted by: The Internetz via Oddly Specific

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95 Responses to Makes Perfect Sense

  1. TheCannyScot says:

    It’s called the Magic Roundabout. This one’s in Swindon, but there’s a bigger one in Hemel Hempstead. This one is reckoned to be worse.
    51 33 46.22N 1 46 17.30W

  2. Bod720 says:

    Woo, I’m from Swindon. And the roundabout in the staff car park of the primary school I went to is now on the front cover if ‘Roundabouts 2010’ calendar. Swindon are weird.

    • chris says:

      I can almost make sense of it but it’s weird having a big counterclockwise roundabout surrounded by 5 little clockwise roundabouts. Would take some getting used to.

    • Claire says:

      It’s a clockwise roundabout, like all roundabouts in the UK.

    • Alan says:

      …..the cars are.. erm… travelling counterclockwise?

  3. Ed Greenberg says:

    In 1996, I was visiting England and found the Hemel Hempstead Magic Roundabout. If anybody knows how I can get out, please call my mobile at +1-408…

  4. DrPluton says:

    I hate roundabouts.

  5. winjer says:

    Yep, there are several in the UK and they generally confuse the living fuck out of anyone who uses them – unless they use them every day, in which case it’s fine. apparently.

  6. SouthernWiltshireLass says:

    Oh so THAT’S what it looks like, I always hear about it on the local radio. It’s supposed to be something awful. One person who came on emigrated to this country, got there, was so scared by it that they stopped and have lived in Swindon for the past twenty years!

  7. og01 says:

    These things really arnt all that bad……..

  8. hostolis says:

    The only magic thing here are the magic mushrooms the engineers ate before they designed this roundabout

  9. Solar says:

    I was surprised to find, during a driving lesson, that the Magic Roundabout actually makes sense from the driving seat.

  10. markowe says:

    Roundabouts seem weird to non-Brits but they really do work once you get used to the idea. As long as traffic is not too heavy they keep it moving in a very efficient way. However, this one, which as someone mentioned is affectionately referred to as the Magic Roundabout (or one of them) is a sextuple-whammy doozy of a roundabout where there is a central one, fed into by a number of mini-roundabouts, which takes the whole thing to a new level. However, it works! Must be a nightmare for foreigners though!

  11. Alice says:

    This is why North Americans are terrified of driving in the UK!

  12. Furby says:

    I think I made something like that in SimCity once.

  13. Sarah says:

    Apparently it’s an around about around-about.

  14. Dowser says:

    Most interesting is that in the center of the magic roundabout even the brittons drive on the right side of the road! 🙂

  15. Sparrow says:

    Why am i thinking of the scene in “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” when Clark Griswold couldn’t get out of the roundabout?

  16. foxmaiden says:

    The British shouldnt be allowed to design roads… lol these are the types of roads you would see in Hell.

  17. Simmo33 says:

    I live in this town. It actually DOES make perfect sense. It’s not as complicated as it looks. Swindon has become slightly famous for it though.

  18. karen says:

    this makes my eyes bleed.

  19. been there. really not a big deal.

  20. they are surprisingly safe because people are so freaked out about it they drive extra carefully.

  21. Zanzi says:

    I have to drive this thing every time I want to get to the town centre. I’ve been sideswiped at least twice, and the amount of near misses have been phenomenal. I can drive it, it’s everyone else (especially tourists and student drivers) who can’t manage it. It takes practice.

  22. Daniel says:

    Mountains come out of the sky and they stand there.

  23. Madness says:

    That looks like that map from Lost. Only maybe even MORE confusing.

  24. PodSixerJerk says:

    I love destruction derby’s!!!

  25. Ginger_wookey says:

    Believe it or not, this roundabout works really well and it is indeed called the magic roundabout. The only time it doesn’t work is when there are grockels from another country who aren’t used to driving on the left, or indeed roundabouts…..

  26. Coffee says:

    We don’t use roundabouts in America that often; most of our drivers still can’t figure out how a 4-way stop works.

  27. Chris says:

    What?! That’s never real! What is wrong with a conventional, big roundabout?!

  28. Sally says:

    I’ve gotten totally messed up in that g.d. swindon roundabout twice. I would drive waaaay out of my way to avoid it. I don’t care how clueless that makes me….

  29. trillnahser says:

    that totally looks like a team rocket level on the pokemon games where the floor pushes you different places

  30. humor me says:

    I’ll take a cab, thank you.

  31. been there says:

    I got married in Swindon and my wife and I took the limo from Citifaith church to the country club where we would spend our wedding night. Try drinking non-alcoholic champagne in a limo at night while going round this thing! It’s fun.

    Oh and roundabouts work really well for intersections with more than four roads. Under that, they are just used when there is a decent amount of traffic and/or accidents.

  32. BoringTroll says:

    We just got a simple roundabout to replace our deathtrap intersection. It is designed to be scary. It makes drivers slow down. There are still accidents at the intersection, but a lot fewer accidents with injuries, and none with fatalities.

    Wikipedia says that this magic roundabout is safer than the old style big roundabout it replaced, and it handles more vehicles. The Swindon Cricket Club parking lot is connected directly to the magic roundabout. I wish they would do something similar with event parking around here. When a few hundred cars are leaving a parking lot at the same time, it takes forever.

  33. OutworldCats says:

    Is that a Pentagram surrounded by five hexagrams? They’re summoning Cthulhu!!!

  34. pwl0lwp says:

    feh – give way right. no big deal.

    apparently much easier than the bog-standard 2-road roundabout in mountain view CA, which apparently was so complex for the locals that they installed traffic lights as well. 😛

  35. Lol says:

    From Google Earth this makes perfect sense

  36. jgt2598 says:

    I’ve driven an intersection with seven roads and two public rail transit tracks, and it had a much simpler layout then this.

  37. H says:

    What I don’t get is, why not take out the mini-roundabouts? It’s a roundabout anyway, with 5 roads coming off… :S

  38. sailin says:

    This is where Benny Hill was buried.

  39. scrapheapchallenge says:

    strangely enough I was on this just the other day, for the first time ever while visiting friends in Swindon, in fact went on it 3 times in the space of an hour when we popped to the shops lol. It isn’t as bad as it looks, and that’s coming from someone who hates roundabouts. It’s better than the “hot cross bun” roundabout by the M40 near Heathrow, which I could only navigate one way, but now I’ve learned it, but just as I get the hang of it they’ve gone and torn it up and made it less complicated again LOL

  40. Dave says:


    That’s what they had originally, but this way improves traffic flow. Basically, the inside lane is going counter-clockwise, and the outer lane clockwise, so you only ever have to go a maximum of halfway around the roundabout. Otherwise, you could come onto it at six o’clock, and to get off at five o’clock you have to go all the way around. In case it’s not obvious, I’m using a clockface as an analogy – not talking about time travel 🙂

  41. Steve says:

    The difference between the “magic” design and a normal roundabout is that you can go round the big circle either clockwise or anticlockwise.

  42. jinxed says:

    Is that a flux capacitor on the sign?!

  43. Halomomma says:

    The thought of a roundabout summoning Cthulhu made me LOL, so thanks for that. As an American I fully admit I would pull over and cry if I saw this. I know they are much better than our system though, have you driven in south CA?

  44. Regin says:

    It looks like it…..and a severe case of too many hypno glasses and not enough sleep

  45. timboid says:

    The great thing about these roundabouts is you actually go aound the centre the wrong way round. If you enter and need to turn left you go around the whole five dials in an anti-clock direction. That seems to be the case at the Hemel magic roundabout. It’s fun to do this while driving an Artic as people give way no matter where you drive!

  46. AJ Overlord of Epic Win says:

    I don’t know who designed the Magic Roundabout but it’s reeeeeeeeeeaally trippy to drive round…

  47. anan says:

    This roundabout is easy to use and navigate. It’s just retards and tourists that have any trouble.

  48. Mistermark says:

    When I was 9 we were driving to Swindon and my mum told me there was a roundabout with 5 smaller roundabouts on it. That sounded like the best playground ever. Needless to say I was pretty pissed when we got there.

  49. Kazzi says:

    Um, gyratories have been around for quite a while now …? Not sure where the confusion is – sign says: here comes gyratory system and then it appears. As signs go it’s fairly straight-forward & practical.

  50. Steve says:

    thanks for the map
    That place has got to have a web cam
    Yeah – straight-forward until you send in the ice, wind, and fog

  51. Chaz says:

    Having a rotary is one thing Kazzi. Having 5 more built into one is beyond dumb.

  52. Tom says:

    I live in swindon. (Where it is). Its not complicated at all.

  53. Ian Lloyd says:

    Ah yeah, people freak out when they hear about this or when they see it for the first time. It’s actually *really good*! You need to get from one side to the other and you can take a number of different routes to get there. Just go by the sequence of roundabouts that has the least traffic. It seems counter-intuitive to take the longer route, but sometimes it’s the quickest. As long as you treat each roundabout one-at-a-time and follow the usual give way to the right, no problem!

  54. demba says:

    it’s a magic roundabout

  55. JimmyMcJimbo says:

    But the centre round-about goes backwards? So do i give way to the right on outer round abouts, but give way to left on the inner one? How does a bus or a prime mover negotiate those tiny outer round-abouts?
    Are you sure this thing doesnt bend the laws of space & time?

  56. JimmyMcJimbo says:

    But the centre round-about goes backwards? So do i give way to the right on outer round abouts, but give way to left on the inner one? How does a bus or a prime mover negotiate those tiny outer round-abouts?
    Are you sure this thing doesnt bend the laws of space & time??

  57. William Wade says:

    I’ll never complain about the New Jersey traffic circles again. Never.

  58. Jackisgreen says:

    Huh.. I could have sworn there were more then six circles in hell…

  59. Kurtis says:

    Carmel, Indiana is apparently trying to claim the title of Roundabout Capitol of the World. Hope they never get wind of this one.

  60. weeza says:

    I used to live in Swindon. The beauty of Swindon is that even if you go the wrong way on the Magic Roundabout, another roundabout is only a few hundred yards away, so you can be going back the way you came in no time at all!

  61. Bob says:

    Retards in Swindon, yes. Tourists, don’t be silly…

  62. malakhi says:

    wouldn’t it be safer and easier to make a bridge system?

  63. Jake says:

    I live just outside Swindon, and it’s not that bad if you’re used to it. Is always fun to see a non-local try and navigate it though

  64. jic says:

    I love the line from that BBC article:

    “by all accounts, everyone who has safely negotiated Swindon’s Magic Roundabout has emerged unscathed”

    Of course people who “safely negotiated” the roundabout were “unscathed”! What about everybody else?

  65. Kschenke says:

    Kurtis, I occasionally have to go by Carmel for work and it is a bit daunting as someone who is not used to roundabouts to drive thru them… I can’t imagine this one, though!

  66. NorthernTerror says:

    wtf are the rules for that?

  67. Feyn says:

    Argh! I’m from Germany, where we have right hand traffic.
    That one would totaly kill me if I ever came to visit someone in Swindon

  68. katie says:

    The hemel hempstead one looks even worse. It’s pretty simple though, really, it’s just one roundabout at a time 🙂

    thats the hemel hempstead magic roundabout 🙂

  69. VanMora says:

    wat ze fok

  70. Brad says:

    I LIVE HERE :L and we’ve never had an accident on it?! :L

  71. Be says:

    Whoa, that’s f-ing weird. I was on that road not a few hours ago. (I live in the place called Cirencester – on the sign.)

  72. SpectrumFizz says:

    If people think this looks complicated, they should take a look at the Gravelly Hill Interchange in Birmingham!

  73. Max Sizemore says:

    “Wroughton Devizes”? What is that, some factory that makes iron railings?

  74. tomuk says:

    is it just me or does it appear that 50% of the internet lives in swindon?

    also, roundabouts are genius. imagine another way to do that^^^ without them.

  75. Mark says:

    That’s the Brits for you. They take a perfectly accurate name like “Rotten Devices” and spell it “Wroughton Devizes”.

  76. Joshua says:

    😮 OMG!

  77. DeadBob says:

    My first thought, not reading but just looking at the lower picture, was that it was a parking lot turned into a demented defensive driving school.

    But looking into it, i can see that it would have the effect of handling a LOT of traffic while slowing cars down, and not causing back-ups.

    And for weird, in Worcester MA, near where I live, are a slew of named “squares” and none of them are. Union Square is a rotary, Brosnihan Square is a four-way intersection.
    And Kelly Square is a pick-up-sticks pile where three two-way roads (one feeding a highway on- and off-ramp) and two one-way roads feed into a large expanse of asphalt. And there’s no “right of way” it’s “daring of way”

  78. Frankie Lee says:

    I live just outside Hemel Hempstead – the Magic Roundabout is really simple. Just take each smaller roundabout as an individual

  79. Snarkwaffles says:

    Ha! The ad at the bottom of the page for me is for driving instructor insurance. Clearly Google Ads thinks it’s a dangerous place.

    Jokes aside, these systems work fine. I drove on the magic roundabout system in Colchester soon after I’d passed my driving test, and although it -was- pretty scary to me as a new driver, the idea is very logical and I’m sure I’d get used to them if I drove on a couple more.

    To those people asking if you give way to the left on the “middle roundabout”; you don’t because the central island is not actually a roundabout at all. It’s just a space around which the five mini-roundabouts of the system are arranged. Look at the overhead views of the traffic lanes a bit more closely and you’ll see.

  80. HelenaTroy says:

    my sis used to live in St Albans and used this roundabout a lot. She said it was fun watching newbies trying to make sense of it …

  81. HelenaTroy says:

    oops, correction! she used the Hemel one

  82. Steve says:

    Ah yes – Swindon. The first time I saw this I nearly kacked myself – and every other time since. Solution is simple: point the car in the general direction you want to go. Say a Hail Mary. Stamp on the throttle. It’s the UK’s answer to the Arc de Triomphe road layout.

  83. AC says:

    The one in Hemel Hempstead is called the Plough and it’s a bizarre experience driving round it, believe me- you go round the little roundabouts the normal way (clockwise) but you’re travelling counter-clockwise around the central roundabout and it feels very wrong.

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