Yes! The Magic Roundabout traffic system. As featured heavily in Secret Swindon.

 It’s a bit like Marmite. But whether you love it, hate it or are indifferent to it you certainly can’t ignore this counterflow roundabout.

On a counterflow roundabout, traffic in the inner circle circulates counter-clockwise while the outer circle goes conventionally clockwise.

Where the name came from

A quick rootle round Google will bring up all manner of information about this traffic system but our very own Swindon Web has a niece piece about it: ‘Until September 1972, there was only one Magic Roundabout and it was a children’s television programme featuring Dougal the dog, a hippy rabbit called Dylan and the spring-loaded Zebedee….’  That was certainly my knowledge and understanding of that term until I moved to Swindon.

When this roundabout first appeared on Swindon’s urban landscape it bore the moniker: The County Island’s Roundabout. But the locals were quick to dub it the magic roundabout. The nickname stuck and the authority bowed to the inevitabe.

The Magic Roundabout road sign

Opened in 1972, the roundabout is now rather famous/notorious/ – delete as applicable. It’s definitely iconic in either event.

It’s celebrated here in Swindon – in the central library all manner of Magic Roundabout souvenirs are available from T-Shirts to tea towels.

Located near the County Ground football stadium – hence its original name – its unusual design consists of five mini-roundabouts arranged around a sixth central, anti-clockwise roundabout. 

The Magic Roundabout traffic system - Magic roundabout mosaic
Magic roundabout mosaic by Swindon mosaic artist Lynette Thomas

It even inspired – allegedly – the song ‘English Roundabout’ by Swindon band XTC. So who needs Thorpe Park and Alton Towers when here’s our very own white-knuckle ride!  🙂

See also: Swindon’s magic roundabout – Swindon viewpoint.  And for more posts on this Magimix of traffic systems go here.

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