The online version of this column gets a regular number of Internet “hits”. But one gets more than its fair share. So, I thought I would offer the updated version this week, with a follow-up next week. Here goes…

You could be forgiven for thinking that the plans for some of the roundabouts in Livingston were drawn up by a committee of toddlers on a sugar-high with only a stack of cheap paper and a few coloured crayons to keep them busy. What other possible explanation could there be for the directional marking being laid out in such a way that you are expected to break with the long-accepted rules of the Highway Code?

(Note to all officials on the highway planning committee: Just in case you don’t know, a roundabout should be treated as a crossroad. If you are turning left or going straight ahead – queue in the left hand lane. If you are turning right on the roundabout – queue in the right hand lane. What could be simpler?)

The first UK roundabout-style junction was introduced in1910, so the roundabout rule has been in existence for over 100 years until, in their infinite wisdom, our Plonker Planners decided to change them. I guarantee you that a visitor to the town, driving from the A71 along the Alderstone Road to Deans and back, would be in the “wrong” lane at almost every roundabout.

The planners have changed the known and accepted rules on roundabout direction lanes, but they mustered their collective common sense long enough to inform drivers which wrong lane they should be in by – wait for it – painting directional arrows on the road!

Pure genius; except for one tiny detail. If a line of vehicles is waiting to enter the roundabout then you can’t see these arrows because the lead vehicles are parked on top of them. And when it snows… Need I explain further?

I understand that until recently there was even a roundabout where the direction signs and the lane markings were at odds with each other. According to Oor Cooncil’s own web site, this meant that “…drivers are having to change lanes sharply when they hit the hatches. Yeah, or clobber another vehicle.

Perhaps those responsible for deciding to change the rules on roundabouts should be made to take a day out from their nursery, take their lives in their hands, and actually drive up and down the roads they have designed. Let’s see how many collisions they are involved in, thanks to their thinking that changing the rules we all know and love is a bright idea.

Drew McAdam


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