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Driving from London to Scotland.

Old Aug 4th, 2014, 10:52 AM
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A few weeks ago, in rural Italy (where we live) we encountered a driver who entered a roundabout clockwise. Fortunately there was little traffic. We saw him about to enter and signaled to him with frantic hand waving that he couldn't enter that way, but he forged blissfully ahead. Then we heard the blaring of horns.

Italy now has roundabouts all over the place and very few traffic lights, so I suppose this guy doesn't get out much.
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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We really liked Durham, and not just the cathedral, which was really beautiful. We spent three nights there, plus another afternoon (arrival day) and morning (departure day). I wouldn't have minded another few days. It's not a touristy city, and it's small enough to feel intimate. There are beautiful walks along the river, good restaurants, and a castle. We took a day trip by train and bus to Hadrian's wall. If we had stayed longer, I would have liked to go to Lindisfarne and take a coastal walk.

We also spent two nights in Edinburgh and one night (just to break a journey) in York, so I can't make a fair comparison, but for a tranquil stay in a non-touristy location, I would pick Durham, not to slight the other two cities, which are overrun by tourists because there are things worth seeing there.
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 11:57 AM
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Roundabouts are becoming common in the US, especially for low volume intersections. Only older drivers seem to have issues with them.

Britain seems to have too many, even dinky little roads coming in from just one side will be made into a full blown 3 leg roundabout when a single stop sign for the side road is more logical.

And then there are those "flying roundabouts" at all motorway interchanges. Whoever thought those up is demented, they don't have them in France and France has more roundabouts than the UK.
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Old Aug 4th, 2014, 02:06 PM
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"And then there are those "flying roundabouts" at all motorway interchanges"

Not exactly sure what you mean, if it's roundabouts over the top of a motorway at the end of an elevated exit ramp, then it's just a roundabout like all the others (sometimes oval shaped).
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 08:43 AM
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When I used to drive up to Northern Scotland, I'd usually spend the night at Lockerbie. Nice place with sad memories.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 08:45 AM
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"One way rentals in UK are only airport to airport" - this is not true - there are often deals on oneway rentals either to or from airports but you can drop off at any rental office. One way rentals with the add-on cost are available to most rental offices.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 08:55 AM
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"France has more roundabouts than the UK." -really?? This means a massive change over the last decade or so.

Britain invented the roundabout - back in the days of horse drawn vehicles (e.g. - Piccadilly Circus?) The Frenck used to rely of crossroads (Carrefour).
the problem for the French was the priority to the right rule (now almost extinct) that gave EVERYONE priority ONTO the crossroad - they were famous for accidents.
The UK's roundabouts also had priority to the right, but as we drive on the other side of the road, this gave everyone ON the roundabout the right of way and ability to get off.

As the UK road system has become modernised over the years the use of roundabouts as the standard way of handling a junction has reduced relative to other methods - which I personally think is very d=sad as it is a wonderfully logical way to handling a Junction
(BTW - it is my firm belief that the highway system both engineering and code in UK is one of the world's greatest examples of the triumph of logic).

It is therefore a real shock to me to hear someone voice the opinion that France - off all countries - has more roundabouts than UK, where it is in the blood, the national psyche as t'were.
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Old Aug 6th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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It's not the number, it is what you do with them that counts ;-)
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Old Aug 7th, 2014, 09:26 AM
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If you trust Wikipedia half the world's roundabouts are in France http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 03:01 AM
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Yes, I'm shocked and stunned to find this massive adoption of this very British icon by the French.

"Circular junctions existed before roundabouts, including the Circus, in the English city of Bath a world heritage site completed in 1768, "


Wikipedia - I read somewhere that the accuracy of wikipedia is on a par with or even slightly better than the articles in Encyclopaedia Britannica.
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 03:03 AM
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I believe it was in the late 60s/early 70s France had a road safety campaign that encouraged motorists to "Drive like the English" (or was it British?)
The idea being that they should show courtesy to other motorists.

maybe the roundabout plethora is a legacy of this perception of English driving.
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 05:58 AM
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Wike is not a source of facts, it is a repository of facts and fiction, there is a difference
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 07:14 AM
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bilbo--

While Wikipedia is not entirely trustworthy--particularly in controversial areas--and is certainly not a "scholarly" source of info, it is pretty trustworthy about things that no one (or at least few) care much about. I would put "number of roundabouts in France compared with the world" in that class.
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Old Aug 8th, 2014, 10:00 AM
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Never, ever let students reference Wiki. But you may be right;-)
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Old Aug 9th, 2014, 04:43 AM
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"particularly in controversial areas" - so that means it's OK unless you disagree?

BTW - I wouldn't expect my students to use Encylopedia Britannica either as anything more that a source for further reading.

Wiki is pretty much the superior when it comes to up-to-date referencing.
Imn my experience most people who knock wiki do so out of ignorance more than anything else...they are not familiar with the process of research and citation which wiki actually does a pretty good job of. Unlike Britannica it can be changed a short notice - once something is in hard-copy, it stays there until either the next edition or someone rips the page out. (which of course is the only way to deal with an old Britannica.
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Old Aug 9th, 2014, 04:52 AM
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Couple of references on the accuracy of wiki - (if you've never bothered) one is by wiki itself!


http://www.livescience.com/32950-how...wikipedia.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reliability_of_Wikipedia
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