With the Highway Code 2022 update introducing a range of new rule changes, centered around the brand new Hierarchy of Road Users, drivers have been encouraged to be more cautious.
The Highway Code changes affect pedestrians’ right of way, where cyclists should position themselves on the road, and guidance about giving way to more vulnerable users on roundabouts.
Days after the new rules came into effect, a new study has revealed that seven of the 10 most dangerous roundabouts in the UK are in Greater London.
The study analyzed crashes reported at 482 roundabouts across the UK between 2010 and 2020 using CrashMap data. It looked into the locations of 18,900 incidents reported
While some are trickier to tackle than others, the Highway Code features several pointers on using roundabouts safely. In the recent rule update, drivers have now been instructed to give priority to cyclists on roundabouts for the first time ever.
Rule 186 states: “You should give priority to cyclists on the roundabout… Cyclists, horse riders and horse drawn vehicles may stay in the left-hand lane when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout.”
Here’s exactly where the UK’s most dangerous roundabouts are and expert tips on how to stay safe.
The UK’s 20 most dangerous roundabouts for road users
The new study from car warranty company MotorEasy, which analyzed 482 UK roundabouts, revealed that the UK’s 10 most dangerous roundabouts are in London and the South East of England.
The most dangerous roundabouts and roundabout interchanges with the name, junction type, location and number of accidents (from 2010 to 2020) can be found below.
London’s reported accidents accounted for over a quarter of all reported incidents in the time period analyzed, with almost 5,400 listed on CrashMap.
The research also revealed that the North East is the safest region with the fewest roundabout accidents, with only 326 incidents recorded, compared to 5,378 accidents in Greater London.
Here is the full list of all 20 roundabouts and interchanges.
1. Hammersmith Flyover – roundabout interchange
The Hammersmith roundabout, which surrounds the tube station and offices, is a notoriously tricky segment for drivers to navigate in west London.
According to the study, the roundabout interchange has seen a total of 287 crashes from 2010 to 2020. This stretch had the highest number of accidents out of all 482 roundabouts analyzed across the UK.
There were over 100 more accidents recorded here than London’s White Hart Roundabout, number 20 on the study’s list.
2. Redbridge Roundabout – roundabout interchange
Second on the list is London’s Redbridge Roundabout, with a total of 284 accidents reported in a decade.
Located in the north-east London town of Ilford, the roundabout interchange has seen just three fewer incidents reported than Hammersmith’s.
3. The Crooked Billet – roundabout interchange
With an ambulance station surrounding the roundabout itself, Walthamstow’s The Crooked Billet roundabout interchange is the third most dangerous.
The location saw 252 accidents from 2010 to 2020.
4. Staples Corner – roundabout interchange
In the midst of a complex road network featuring two linked roundabouts and flyovers is Staples Corner roundabout interchange.
Fourth on the list, the roundabout off the North Circular had a total of 221 accidents reported at the location in 10 years.
5. Hyde Park Corner – roundabout
Located in the heart of London is Hyde Park Corner’s roundabout, which is sandwiched between two of the city’s sprawling green spaces — Hyde Park and Green Park.
Given the busy roads surrounding the location, it’s no surprise this spot features high on the list with 213 accidents in the 10 years analyzed.
6. Portsbridge Roundabout – roundabout
Hampshire Live / Darren Pepe)
The first non-London entry on the list of the UK’s top 20 most dangerous roundabouts is Portsbridge Roundabout with 205 accidents in 10 years
Located in Cosham, south-east Hampshire, the region’s Rapid Transit website states that a proposal was made in September 2020 with the aim to “improve safety in the Portsbridge roundabout area”.
The closing date for this proposal is at the end of March in 2023 and, if implemented, could see the number of reported crashes reducing.
7. Sea Dyke Interchange – roundabout interchange
Seventh on the list, and the second non-London entry, is Mar Dyke roundabout interchange. The roundabout, located in Thurrock, Essex, saw a total of 192 accidents reported.
It has the A13 motorway and London Orbital Motorway running through it, as well as the Mardyke river passing under its junctions.
8. Bulls Bridge Roundabout – roundabout
Far from the largest roundabout on the list, but still one of the most dangerous in the UK, is Bulls Bridge Roundabout.
Situated in Southall, London, the roundabout has had 186 reported accidents between 2010 and 2020.
9. Bean Interchange – roundabout interchange
Bean Interchange in Dartford, England, is currently undergoing works to extend its size, according to the National Highways website.
And it could be for the best given the 184 reported accidents at the roundabout interchange from 2010 to 2020.
The National Highways project overview states: “At the Bean junction we’ll make the roundabout to the north of the A2 significantly bigger, and controlled by traffic lights.
“The roundabout to the south of the A2 will also be made bigger while generally keeping the existing layout.”
10. Old Street Roundabout – roundabout
Perhaps one of London’s most baffling roundabouts to navigate — both as a pedestrian and road user — is North East Central London’s Old Street Roundabout.
It takes the tenth spot on the list of the UK’s most dangerous roundabouts and roundabout interchanges with 181 crashes reported.
Thankfully, the roundabout is currently undergoing major renovations, with a focus on making it more pedestrian- and cycle-friendly. It’s set to be completed in autumn 2022.
11. The Great Cambridge Road Roundabout, London – roundabout
According to CrashMap data, 179 accidents were reported here between 2010 and 2020.
12. The Green Man, London – roundabout interchange
This roundabout saw 174 roundabouts over the 10-year period.
13. Target Roundabout, London – roundabout interchange
As one of London’s busiest roundabouts, this spot had 153 incidents reported.
14. Brook Street Interchange, Brentwood, England – roundabout interchange
There were 148 accidents reported at this Essex roundabout.
15. Chiswick Roundabout, London, England – roundabout
A total of 144 accidents were logged at this west London roundabout.
16. Denham Roundabout, Denham, England – roundabout interchange
Located in the county of Buckinghamshire, this roundabout has had 140 accidents reported in the data.
17. Brent Cross Interchange, London, England – roundabout interchange
Yet another London roundabout interchange on the list of 20 is the Brent Cross Interchange.
Located near the Brent Cross shopping centre, there have been 138 accidents reported here.
18. The Crooked Billett Roundabout, Surrey, England – roundabout
Not to be confused with number three on the list, the Crooked Billet Roundabout is located less than 10 miles from London’s Heathrow Airport. It has 138 reported accidents.
19. Bricklayers Arms, London, England – roundabout interchange with a flyover
South London’s Bricklayers Arms roundabout and flyover has seen 137 accidents between 2010 and 2020, and is tied at the bottom of the list with White Hart Roundabout.
20. White Hart Roundabout, London, England – roundabout
Nestled in Northolt is White Hart Roundabout. Though it is 20th on the list of the most dangerous roundabouts and roundabout interchanges, there are still over 100 accidents reported there.
It had a total of 137 reported, the same as BricklayersArms roundabout interchange.
The UK regions with the most roundabout incidents – ranked
England dominated the list of the 20 most dangerous roundabouts and roundabout interchanges across the UK.
Here’s how the regions ranked throughout the nation:
- Greater London, 5,378 accidents
- South East, 4,472 accidents
- East, 2,894 accidents
- South West 1,246 accidents
- Yorkshire & Humberside, 1,184 accidents
- East Midlands, 986 accidents
- West Midlands, 968 accidents
- Scotland, 659 accidents
- North West, 384 accidents
- North East, 326 accidents
The South East followed London for the top spot, with 4,472 incidents recorded. According to the study, this was largely contributed to by Milton Keynes, a city renowned for its large number of roundabouts.
The North East was found to be the safest region in England for roundabouts, while the North West had just under 60 more accidents reported.