Tuesday 16 April 2013

The Seven Dials

The Seven Dials roundabout, one of the earliest in the country, dates from the 1920's. It once had a large circular island such that traffic proceeded in an orderly single file around its perimeter. Later on in the 20th.C, with increasing traffic, this led to long queues at peak times. Several decades ago in an effort to increase the capacity of the junction the size of the central island was severely reduced in size.

Drivers arriving at the junction nowadays eye up the vehicles on their right, try and make a guess at where they are going, and then make a dash for any perceived lacuna.

Now the wheel has turned full circle. The latest scheme from the Council, on which work has started, will provide a large elongated central island in order to keep general traffic in a single circulatory lane:-

Cyclists will benefit from the slower vehicle speeds and lanes designed so they can occupy the centre of the lane without the fear of being cut up by overtaking vehicles.

The progress of pedestrians around the Dials will be greatly speeded up by wider pavements and replacing the lights-controlled crossings with zebras.

The visual appearance of the area will be generally uplifted by introducing high quality new paving and street furniture such as planters and benches and removing unnecessary railings and street clutter.

Eight to ten new trees will be planted around the Dials. The planting areas will be constructed during the main construction works and the new trees will be planted in late summer or autumn time.   


  1. I learn something every day. I never knew about it in the 1920's. I'm a driving instructor and its pretty challenging trying to teach learners at Seven Dials!! Hopefully the changes will make it safer for everyone.

  2. I too never knew all that...thank you. I'm surprised that in thirty years, I've never seen an accident there...but then I just close my eyes and put my foot on the accelerator...


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