Swindon’s ‘iconic’ Magic Roundabout leaves American’s ‘absolutely terrified’

The humble roundabout is apparently feared by learner drivers and American tourists, with one incredible photo of the Magic Circle in Swindon leaving people gobsmacked at its intricacy

Ah, the roundabout: so simple in theory, but sometimes not so easy in practice.

It’s hard to imagine life without them in the UK, but for many millions of American’s, the practice is rather baffling.

One roundabout, in particular, has got a lot of people hot under the collar – as they gaze upon the incredible spectacle that is a roundabout in Swindon.

The unique junction, generally known as the Magic Roundabout, opened in September 1972 and has become an attraction to some/terrifying obstacle for others.

Its unusual design consists of five mini-roundabouts arranged around a sixth central, anti-clockwise roundabout.

The mind-bending design has left a lot of American motorists feeling pretty freaked out after an image by drone photographer Simon Folkard was shared on Reddit.

One user joked: “Noticed a lot of Americans on here recently, so thought I’d drop this to spook them.”

And it definitely worked, with even Brits admitting they weren’t a fan.

One joked: “People usually get anxious when approaching this roundabout but it’s incredibly easy to use. You simply turn right, right again and then leave Swindon.”

Another commented: “My dad used to work for an American company in Swindon, he said they once had some Americans come over that drove from the airport. When they got to the magic roundabout they called his office & asked someone to come and get them.”

A third joked: “Imagine learning to drive in Swindon and your instructor starts giving directions towards here and you just quietly whimper “please.. no..”

Lots of American’s agreed with this sentiment.

One person said: “American here. I think the f*** not.”

Another admitted: “I Am American and I am shook. But why would you even enter the middle roundabout at all? Can you not just go around the parameter to your exit?! I’m so confused.”

In 2007, the roundabout was voted the seventh most feared road junction in the country in a survey by the Highway Agency.

According to the BBC, the combination of traffic islands, which is known as a ‘ring junction was designed by the British Transport and Road Research Laboratory and Swindon Borough Council’s highways department.

In 2012, roundabout enthusiast Kevin Beresford said the junction was a “white knuckle ride”.

Mr Beresford, who runs the roundabout appreciation society, Roundabouts of Great Britain, told the BBC: “Swindonians should beam with pride with this fantastic feat of road engineering, which it has to be stated has now achieved iconic status around the world.”

When it was first designed, police were positioned at each mini-roundabout to help nervous drivers navigate the unique design.

For those wondering how to navigate it, one Reddit user has some sage advice – “The magic roundabout in Swindon… simple spot a gap, put your foot down and hope for the best!”