Roundabout

Sollershott Circus 1905

Sollershott Circus
Sollershott Circus

The first modern 'Roundabout' was built in Letchworth Hertfordshire in 1905 and called Sollershott Circus.


Letchworth Garden City
Sollershott Circus 1912
Sollershott Circus 1912
Plans of Letchworth Garden City were drawn up in 1904 by Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin. Three roads in the plans crossed each other, Sollershotts East and West, Broadway, and Spring Road. At the point at where they all converged, Parker and Unwin drew up a detailed plan of a circular traffic island, ‘Sollershott Circus’, in July 1908.

Traffic Circles

With a 'traffic circle' the vehicles approaching have priority.
Traffic circles were not very popular with motorists and authorities have turned to traffic lights because of the high accident rate associated with them.

  • In 1926 the UK Ministry of Transport (circular 302) officially used the term 'Roundabout'.
  • In 1950s the priority rule was changed.
  • Now entering traffic gives way to circulating traffic.
  • Officially adopted in 1966.

Modern roundabouts start to spread around the world. Sweden – 1967 Norway, Denmark – 1970s France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland – 1980s Australia – 1980s US – 1990.

Roundabout Pro's

A true roundabout is as near to maintenance free as you can get. No traffic light bulbs to replace or traffic chaos when there is a power cut.

New research in America has shown that where a roundabout has been installed, savings of up to 40% on fuel can be saved, due to the fact the traffic is flowing more freely.
Pennsylvania Transport Department has shown that roundabouts result in 90% reduction in fatalities, 76% reduction in injuries and 35% reduction in all crashes. When there is a collision on a roundabout they tend to be sideswipes as opposed to a head on crash. You can always shoot a red light, well designed roundabouts slow the traffic reducing impact.

They're Green
Rabbit Roundabout
Rabbit Roundabout

Roundabouts have become havens for wildlife. Isolated by busy traffic, animals are protected from predators and people rarely venture onto them. Wild life can thrive as in the 'Rabbit Roundabout' in Gloucester.


Sollershott Circus was used in the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, directed by Edgar Wright, ‘The World’s End’.
The emblem of Rule Britannia
In History
  • 18 February 1871.
    On this day 148 years ago Harry Brearley was born
  • 06 February 1804.
    This month 215 years ago the world lost Joseph Priestley
  • 10 February 1912.
    This month 107 years ago the world lost Joseph Lister
  • CT Scan. 100 years ago 28 August 1919 Godfrey Hounsfield was born
  • 16 February 1834.
    This month 185 years ago the world lost Lionel Lukin
  • 05 February 1790.
    This month 229 years ago the world lost William Cullen
  • 21 February 1741.
    This month 277 years ago the world lost Jethro Tull
  • 19 February 1927.
    This month 91 years ago the world lost Herbert Akroyd Stuart
  • 08 February 2017.
    This month 2 years ago the world lost Peter Mansfield
  • 17 February 2011.
    This month 8 years ago the world lost Ron Hickman
  • 14 February 1779.
    This month 240 years ago the world lost Captain Cook
  • 26 February 1884.
    This month 134 years ago the world lost Alexander Wood
  • 23 February 1965.
    This month 53 years ago the world lost Stan Laurel
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TAGS:, Roundabout, traffic, circus, roundabouts, sollershott, letchworth, reduction, have