Cambridge 'ghost roundabout' attracts ridicule on social media

  • Published
The roundelImage source, Al Storer
Image caption,
The official term for the road feature is a "roundel" or "ghost roundabout"

An unusual road traffic calming design which resembles a roundabout has been met with ridicule on social media.

The "ghost roundabout" - a cobbled brick circle - straddles the road and pavement along Tenison Road, Cambridge.

It has been installed over seven months as part of £500,000 worth of traffic calming measures.

It has been described as a "UFO landing pad" and an "urban crop circle". The council said it was designed to slow down traffic by confusing drivers.

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesman said: "It is just a feature on the road that was agreed by residents and councillors.

"Residents wanted to make the road less like a rat-run, so it has a different feel to slow drivers down a bit.

"Residents saw all the designs and agreed them. It's gone through considerable consultation through the years."

Media caption,
'The world's smallest velodrome'
Image source, Al Storer
Image caption,
Some people wondered whether the feature was an April Fool's joke
Image source, Al Storer
Image caption,
Cambridgeshire county council said it is designed to slow down traffic

On BBC Look East's Facebook page, it has been met with confusion and blasted as a "waste of money".

Comments included suggestions it appeared like "the world's smallest velodrome", "an entry for the Turner Prize" and an April's Fool joke.

But people living nearby have said it "adds to the street scene".

Richard Owen, who sits on a national road safety panel, said it was a "reasonably unique" feature and described it as an "urban crop circle".

"But the behavioural science which sits behind it is quite good," he said.

"It's about making drivers feel much more uncertain about the road environment and that's the way you slow cars down without using vertical humps."

The road, near the railway station in Cambridge, closed in March for the traffic calming works and reopened on Friday.

Image source, Al Storer
Image caption,
It is designed to make drivers feel "uncertain" about the road environment

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