Essex to install ‘Dutch style’ roundabouts

Two congested roundabouts in Braintree, Essex are to be transformed to give both pedestrians and cyclists priority over vehicles, creating the first ‘Dutch style’ roundabout in the county.

The scheme is playing a major role to make Braintree “greener, safer and healthier”. It is one of five Essex towns that the county council hopes to make greener and safer.

The Dutch Roundabouts are designed to give cyclists priority over motorists,where cyclists have an outer ring on the roundabout, with cycle crossings over each of the four approach roads in a contrasting red surface. There are also zebra crossings over each approach road for pedestrians. Motorists must give way to pedestrians and to cyclists when joining and leaving the roundabout.

Larger and longer vehicles are able to benefit from a strip in the centre of the road, whilst pedestrians are provided with zebra crossings and cyclists are given their own red tarmac cycle path to reduce risk of collisions for all potential highway users.

The scheme is based on two routes that head towards Braintree town centre, with one running from East to West and the other from South to North. The council also wishes to build upon the improvements established as part of the initial emergency measures, reports Essex Live.

The routes being discussed will also include both permanent and temporary segregated cycle routes, pavement widening, junction and crossing improvements, and lower traffic volumes through residential areas and 20 mph speed limits to make streets safer for walking and cycling.

The scheme also proposes a ‘School Streets approach’ so that only those walking and cycling are able to access the streets outside of schools at the start and finishing times of the school day.

“We propose to implement the County’s first “Dutch Style” roundabout, which gives greater priority to cycling and walking on one of the key routes in the town. The proposals will deliver safe and direct connected routes into the existing network of footpaths and cycle way routes which go to and from new developments to the main commuter, community and retail centres and recreational links. The proposals will encourage residents to walk or cycle for short local journeys and avoid using the car,” Essex Highways said.

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