Europe’s many traffic roundabouts are complicated enough – but this head-spinning, multi-directional traffic intersection in the UK is enough to make you walk to your destination. Located in Swindon, the famed Magic Roundabout is actually five mini roundabouts placed around a larger central, counterclockwise roundabout.

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Designed by engineer Frank Blackmore of the British Transport and Road Research Laboratory, the intersection was built in 1972 as an innovative attempt at controlling traffic flow in the area. When the complicated layout was unveiled, the mini roundabouts weren’t even marked in order to leave room for reconfiguration after further studies were conducted. At the time, a police officer was stationed at each circle to direct traffic.

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Today, although locals surely have a handle on its complicated rules, driving the 7-circle roundabout still requires nerves of steel. Once inside the vehicular labyrinth, traffic flows counterclockwise around the outer roundabout, while interior traffic flows in a clockwise manner around the five mini roundabouts, which all lead to various exists located on the outer loop.

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Forty-five years after its inauguration, the intersection has become more and more famous, or infamous. In 2007, BBC News published a survey that named the Magic Roundabout as one of the “10 Scariest Junctions in the United Kingdom“. However, despite its harrowing appearance, the roundabout has an excellent safety record, mainly due to the slow traffic pace required once inside the crazy intersection.

Via Boing Boing

Images via Wikipedia and Wired

Magic Roundabout, complicated roundabouts, roundabout rules, driving roudabouts, Swindon, England, english roundabouts, Swindon Magic Roundabouts, Magic Roundabout swindon, complicated traffic routes, urban design, dangerous intersections, transportation

Magic Roundabout, complicated roundabouts, roundabout rules, driving roudabouts, Swindon, England, english roundabouts, Swindon Magic Roundabouts, Magic Roundabout swindon, complicated traffic routes, urban design, dangerous intersections, transportation

Magic Roundabout, complicated roundabouts, roundabout rules, driving roudabouts, Swindon, England, english roundabouts, Swindon Magic Roundabouts, Magic Roundabout swindon, complicated traffic routes, urban design, dangerous intersections, transportation