With so much traffic on the roads these days, roundabouts are more popular than ever! They are also misunderstood and in many cases not navigated correctly. They are also a very common place for collisions. We find that many drivers either put the wrong signal on or no signal at all.
The two roundabouts near to junction 11 on the A55, known locally as One Stop and Burger king roundabouts are a source of confusion for learner pupils and now Sat Nav has been introduced, with its not so clear and correct instructions it can be even more confusing! For reference, we are going to refer to the big roundabout as One Stop roundabout and the smaller one as Burger King roundabout.
At this moment in time, when approaching One Stop roundabout from Llandegai Test Centre, at the start of your test, the examiners or Sat Nav will only ask you to go one of three ways, either straight ahead at both roundabouts, ahead at One Stop roundabout then third exit to the right and Burger king roundabout (A4244)or you will get asked to take the third exit to the right at One Stop Roundabout (follow signs for Holyhead A55).
When on test, if you get a verbal instruction from your examiner they should say something like "there are two roundabouts coming up quite close together, I would like you to follow the road ahead at both please" or you may be asked "follow signs and directions for Betws Y Coed A5 please" that's the easy option! Enter in the left hand lane.
If you are on independent driving using the Sat Nav it will say something like "follow the road ahead, second entrance". It wont give you the instructions for the second roundabout (Burger King) until you are at least halfway through the first one. Also enter in the left hand lane.
As you come down the hill, after leaving the roundabout at Bryn Cegin behind you, get yourself into 3rd gear as this will give you some engine braking, and allow you more time with your effective observations. As it's a higher gear it will also help you adjust your speed if you need to give way. You can do your mirror, mirror, signal just after the first exit (A55 Conwy).
Keep it on the left side through the roundabout and as you enter the left hand lane for Burger King roundabout cancel your signal as the information sign for the roundabout shows that there is a turning to the left, so you can only put a signal on when you're in the middle of the roundabout. This can be quite a busy roundabout, so a nice low gear like 2nd gear around 10-12 mph is ideal when it's busy.
Burger King roundabout is quite small so keep yourself well over to the left. Traffic can enter from the right quite quickly and is very common for them not to have a signal on.
There are two ways this can be done and it depends on whether it is verbal instruction from the examiner or whether you are following the Sat Nav
If the examiner gives you verbal instruction, they will probably say something like "at the first roundabout I would like you to follow the road ahead and at the second I would like you to take the 3rd exit to the right"
Fairly straight forward, enter in the right hand lane as you approach One Stop roundabout, put a left signal on to let other road users know you are coming off at the next exit, whilst keeping it to the right, then feed yourself into the right hand lane when approaching the Burger King roundabout, nice slow speed on approach with a signal in plenty of time to the right. This is the easiest way and the way most locals do it as well.
This is where it gets a bit tricky! The problem is when you are entering these roundabouts whilst using Sat Nav it doesn't tell you where you are going on the second roundabout till quite late, BUT if you have a quick look at the Sat Nav at the top of the screen where the distance is to the next junction is on the right of that oval shaped box it says Llanberis, this is your clue to the fact you are turning right at Burger King roundabout.
The other way to deal with this, which is slightly more difficult is to enter One Stop roundabout in the left hand lane and then it gives you the instruction and now because you've entered in the left hand lane you now need to change lanes! REMEMBER BEFORE YOU CHANGE LANES - mirror, mirror, signal and then for goodness sake check your blind spot!
This is probably the easiest of the three options. If you are getting instructions from the examiner, they will say something like "at the next roundabout I would like you to take the 3rd exit to the right, follow signs for Holyhead A55 please". If you are on independent driving using the Sat Nav then it will say something like "at the next roundabout take the third exit to the right".
Which ever instruction you are getting on your approach to the roundabout, as you're coming down the hill, slow yourself down, maybe into 3rd gear around the big information sign if traffic conditions allow. Do your Mirror, Mirror, Signal routine and enter into the right hand lane, making sure you get lots of observations ahead and to the right. Traffic can come quite quickly from the right so wait for the confirmation signal from other road users before going.
Only when it is safe to go, enter the roundabout and keep your road position on the right hand side (inside lane) and just as you pass the second exit put a left signal on, as part of your Mirror, Mirror, Signal routine, check your blindspot and bring the car from the inside lane to the left hand side so you can enter the slip road safely.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PLEASE COME BACK SOON!