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    Roundabouts can be very confusing when you first start to learn about them, however most of them follow a very basic set of rules and have a set lane procedure. The approach to a roundabout can be the most important part of dealing with it safely. If your approach is too fast or not completed in the correct order you will struggle when you reach the roundabout itself.

    You must approach all roundabouts with the MSPSL routine, the same as you would approach a road junction, after all a roundabout is a junction. So as we approach we will check your Mirrors then Signal as required, Position ourselves in the correct lane as early as possible, adjust our Speed, and Look to see if we can enter the roundabout safely. The key thing is to get this done early so you can decide if you need to stop or not.

    Most roundabouts are open junctions so can be done in 2nd gear, only changing to 1st if you can not enter the roundabout. If the view is restricted or the roundabout is tight then 1st gear may be more suitable.

    Lane Decision

    Deciding which lane to go into should be done as soon as possible, most bigger roundabouts are marked with arrows or destinations so you should look for these painted on the road on approach. If the road is not marked then you can use this basic rule:

    Imagine the roundabout as a clock face, any exit up to and including 12 o’clock you will normaly use the left lane and keep to the outside of the roundabout. Any exit after 12 o’clock you normaly use the right lane and signal right.

    If you have the option of 2 straight ahead lanes try to use the furthest left you can.

    Some lanes will be marked as left only in lane 1 then straight in lane 2 and right in lane 3, in this case as you come on to the roundabout in the straight lane you must move over to the left to allow the traffic turning right to pass. (Always check the left mirror before moving over to allow left turning traffic to clear.) See Below

    The highway code gives the following information for roundabouts:

    When reaching the roundabout

    Give priority to traffic approaching from your right, unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights
    Check whether road markings allow you to enter the roundabout without giving way. If so, proceed, but still look to the right before joining
    Watch out for all other road users already on the roundabout; be aware they may not be signalling correctly or at all
    Look forward before moving off to make sure traffic in front has moved off.

    Signals and position

    When taking the first exit to the left, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise signal left and approach in the left-hand lane, keep to the left on the roundabout and continue signalling left to leave.
    When taking an exit to the right or going full circle, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise signal right and approach in the right-hand lane, keep to the right on the roundabout until you need to change lanes to exit the roundabout. Signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want.
    When taking any intermediate exit, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise select the appropriate lane on approach to and on the roundabout you should not normally need to signal on approach. Stay in this lane until you need to alter course to exit the roundabout. Signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want.
    When there are more than three lanes at the entrance to a roundabout, use the most appropriate lane on approach and through it.

    In all cases watch out for and give plenty of room to

    Pedestrians who may be crossing the approach and exit roads
    Traffic crossing in front of you on the roundabout, especially vehicles intending to leave by the next exittraffic which may be straddling lanes or positioned incorrectly
    Motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders who may stay in the left-hand lane and signal right if they intend to continue round the roundabout. Allow them to do so.
    Long vehicles (including those towing trailers). These might have to take a different course or straddle lanes either approaching or on the roundabout because of their length. Watch out for their signals.


    Approach these in the same way as normal roundabouts. All vehicles MUST pass round the central markings except large vehicles which are physically incapable of doing so. Remember, there is less space to manoeuvre and less time to signal. Avoid making U-turns at mini-roundabouts. Beware of others doing this.

    At double mini-roundabouts treat each roundabout separately and give way to traffic from the right.

    At some complex junctions, there may be a series of mini-roundabouts at each intersection. Treat each mini-roundabout separately and follow the normal rules.