Useless Roundabouts

Look at this roundabout! Just look at it!


What’s the point of that roundabout? Seriously?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

And here’s another one! Look at this one! Just look!


Why in God’s name would someone build that?


For what reason?

And here’s more. What is this crazy madness?


What insanity led to the creation of such a thing?

Is this some kind of tax write-off scheme? Did someone say to the council: “I hear that our neighbouring county, with whom we have a long-standing heated rivalry, have built more roundabouts than us. We cannot let this stand!”

Here’s yet more irrational roundabout nonsense…


When will this lunacy end?

Is it some kind of fetish?

Is this the result of some hilarious Chuckle-Brothers-like mix-up, like the road planners accidentally put their mug of coffee down on the plans and then had to come up with a hasty way to disguise the mess it left?

Look! Here’s more of the same!


We need answers!

Is it aliens? Is the government using roundabouts to pacify civil uprising?


12 thoughts on “Useless Roundabouts”

  1. These roundabouts allow people to turn around and go back safely. Also they were often built to accomodate planned roads which were subsequently cancelled. I agree with you completely. There must be simpler and cheaper ways of achieving such worthy ends.

  2. It’s not a useless roundabout, but the same principle applies. If you look for St Katherines Way in Totnes in Google Maps consider what happens if you want to turn into it from Leachwell Lane (both fairly busy roads). You have to give way to all the hundreds of cars from Heath Court, a very short street with only about three houses. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any cars going into or out of Heath Court. I think they first put the Yield sign before there were any buildings at all in Heath Court.

  3. Here’s one near Oracle/Thames Valley Park outside Reading.,-0.9416224,272m/data=!3m1!1e3

    It’s there because of a genius plan to turn the south bank of the Thames in Reading into a big road. Scrapped because it turns out there was enough congestion in the town centre anyway.

    You can still see on the maps view of Google Maps the formerly useless roundabout at the former Sun Microsystems (bought by Oracle) site in “Camberley” (Farnborough).,-0.7923467,16.92z

    That would have gone around to two buildings that were never completed beyond their frames. Switch to “satellite” view, and you can see the start of the new “Sun Park” housing estate. A no longer useless roundabout!

  4. I once heard that there are roundabouts in Poland with no other roads because there was an EU scheme that would provide funding for a roundabout and 100m of approach roads around it, so local governments would apply just to get 200m of road built. Not sure it passes the sniff test, but it’s what was claimed.

  5. When I was at university at Stirling the A91 had a right-angle corner roundabout like this at Bannochburn. About 20 years after I left they finally built the development next door that it was there to link to.

  6. These examples at least reasonably could have additional roads added in future. But try Thirlmere Avenue in Reading for a pair of two-exit roundabouts, the southerly one flanked by houses and the other not much better. Although to be fair they might be intended as “traffic calming” to deter drivers from speeding.

  7. There’s the ‘pointless’ Azalea roundabout on the A31 between Ringwood and Ferndown (50.8167136, -1.8648279). I suspect put there to allow u-turns from St Leonard’s hospital.

  8. I used work with someone who was a professional soldier for years.

    He was once posted to one of the Gulf States (Bahrain, I think) in the early 1970s when the oil money was just beginning to trickle in & they were beginning to build some major tarmacked roads.

    Often these had roundabouts in the middle of the desert, with barely a stub leading into to a track off the main road.

    I imagine these are now major junctions with the road frontage developed years ago.

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