As Sheffield plans its first Dutch-style roundabout: How it will work and should they be introuduced in Derbyshire?

Plans have been made to place a ‘Dutch-style’ roundabout in Sheffield – giving preference to cyclists and pedestrians – should they be introduced in Derbyshire too?

Tuesday, 16th February 2021, 10:14 am

The so-called ‘Dutch-style’ roundabouts are popular in the Netherlands, and feature an almost completely segregated cycle lane as well as pedestrian crossings on all entrances.

The plan is for the one in Sheffield to be installed on the West Bar, outside the Emergency Services Museum, near The Shakespeare pub.

Consultations around the whole development, including whether the roundabout is a good idea are ongoing, due to end on March 3.

The UK's first Dutch-style roundabout has been insrtalled in Cambridge

A spokesperson said the project will help “to improve the environment of these areas and linking them into the heart of the City through new, high-quality cycling and walking infrastructure and improved routes for bus services.”

They explained: "The roundabout at West Bar will be converted to create Sheffield’s first Dutch-style roundabout which will give cycling and walking priority over motor traffic at junction crossings.

“A segregated cycle track will run around the roundabout and pedestrian and cycle crossings will be positioned on each arm of the roundabout to make it safer and easier to cross the road.

"Dutch-style roundabouts are designed to reduce traffic speed much more than normal roundabouts which creates a safer environment for walking and cycling.

The new roundbaout has proved controversial though, with one critic saying it would only intensify the 'war' between drivers and cyclists

"Cyclists travelling around the roundabout will have priority over general traffic. Signage will be put in place to alert motorists to the changes in priority.”

The new segregated cycle track and landscaping will continue from West Bar roundabout along Tenter Street on the side heading into the City Centre. Tenter Street will become one lane in each direction for vehicle traffic.

New signal-controlled crossings will be added to facilitate cycling and walking and a continuous footway over junctions running off Tenter Street along the side streets towards West Bar roundabout will give priority to pedestrians.

The idea for the Dutch-style roundabout follows the installation of the first of its kind of Cambridge last year, however the concept is not without its critics and many have branded them more dangerous than the ones they replaced.

Opinion there is divided, however, with many cyclists and an RAC spokesperson praising the change.